Animal Programs Monthly Update: March 2017

March 2017

AZA Animal Programs: Tip-of-the-Month

If you need an extension for your SSP Breeding & Transfer Plan or Studbook, please contact your TAG Chair and the AZA Conservation & Science Department prior to the upcoming deadline and be sure to request a new deadline date.

Animal Program Workshops at the 2017 AZA Mid-Year Meeting

Collection Planning Workshop
Tuesday, March 28, 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

The AZA Wildlife Conservation and Management Committee (WCMC), working in association with the AZA Accreditation Commission, offers a workshop for those who develop Institutional Collection Plans (ICPs).  Topics covered will include the philosophy and importance of ICPs, the necessary (and unnecessary) components of ICPs, and the tools and resources available to AZA members.  The workshop will include advice and testimonials from ICP users from various zoological fields and an exercise to develop an ICP for a hypothetical institution.  Workshop attendees will gain new understanding of the intended function and value of ICPs, as well as the skills to produce them. Please RSVP to the AZA Conservation & Science Department if you plan on attending.

The SMART Approach to TAG Strategic Planning
Wednesday, March 29, 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

This WCMC led workshop will discuss a new initiative to address SSP population sustainability: TAG level strategic planning. WCMC members will discuss strategies for species selection, and the purpose, value and importance of developing SMART goals for AZA Animal Programs. This will be followed by participants engaging in and discussing mock scenarios. The workshop will be especially geared toward TAG Chairs, Vice Chairs, and AZA Program Leaders.  We hope that the workshop will encourage participants to engage with their fellow TAG members in making strategic, transparent decisions regarding Animal Programs to advance population sustainability. Please RSVP to the AZA Conservation & Science Department if you plan on attending.

Animal Program Conservation Workshop: Enhancement and Communications
Thursday, March 30, 9:00 am – 12:30 pm

Animal Program Conservation and “Enhancement” Requirements - 9:00 am - 10:30 am

“Enhancement” of a species’ propagation or survival in its native range is a requirement for obtaining US Fish and Wildlife transport permits for listed species. This requirement is only likely to become more stringent as an increasing number of lawsuits are filed against the issuance of these permits and for international species subject to CITES listings. Learn more about this requirement and how Animal Program-led, strategic, outcome-oriented conservation projects can help the AZA community meet both the letter of the law of the requirement, and build conservation credibility internationally and at home.

Developing a High-Impact Communications Plan - 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

Communication is a tool that can either pave the way to program success or become an overwhelming obstacle for Animal Programs engaged in conservation. With expectations of developing and disseminating content via social media, websites, annual reporting, communications to donors and field personnel, and more, early development of a comprehensive communication plans can lead to significant time-savings down the road, fend off donor fatigue, engage new donors, and build lasting support for a conservation program. Learn more about developing a high impact communication plan that capitalizes on tested messages and the latest tips and trends in digital media.


Giraffe is AZA’s first SAFE Member-sponsored Species program! Congratulations to Drs. Liza Dadone (Cheyenne Mountain Zoo) and Kristen Lukas (Cleveland Metroparks Zoo) on their successful application and for working with the SAFE Implementation Task Force and AZA’s Field Conservation Committee as this new program is developed. The SAFE Member-sponsored Species program will bring together members of the AZA community to advance the conservation plans of threatened species. Look for more information and how to become involved at this year’s Mid-Year Meeting in Albuquerque, NM.

AZA Calendar

Please visit the AZA calendar to find the current list of workshops, meetings, and training opportunities that are of interest to Animal Program participants and other zoo and aquarium professionals. To add to this list, please email AZA's Conservation & Science Department.

Funding and Award Opportunities

AZA Conservation Grants Fund

AZA's Conservation Grants Fund (CGF) is now accepting proposals for the 2017 grant cycle. The CGF supports the cooperative conservation-related scientific and educational initiatives of AZA members and their collaborators. Proposals are due March 15, 2017 and all application materials can be found on the AZA website. Individual AZA members at the Professional Associate, Professional Affiliate, Professional Fellow, or Student level are eligible to apply. A list of recent awardees is found on the AZA website.

AZA Amphibian TAG Small Grants Program

The AZA Amphibian TAG (ATAG) small grants were initiated to support projects that uphold the conservation priorities of the AZA ATAG Regional Collection Plan (RCP). Review of this plan is strongly recommended (available for downloading through the Animal Programs Database. The ATAG Steering Committee will select projects for funding based on the following:

  • How well the proposal meets ATAG RCP Conservation or Educational goals.
  • Zoo and aquarium partnerships and permits must be approved and demonstrated.
  • Field conservation of species and their habitats or mitigation of threats.
  • Innovative education initiatives to benefit species at risk and their habitats.
  • Zoo research that has direct application to the health or recovery of species at risk.

Please see the flyer for details; the deadline to apply is April 1.  Contact Andy Snider with any questions.

Ron Goellner Conservation Fund and the Jennifer Elwood Hellbender Conservation Grant

The Cryptobranchid Interest Group (CIG) will consider proposals for two separate grants for amounts up to $1,000 each. Each applicant will automatically be considered for both grants when submitting this single application.

The Ron Goellner Conservation Fund awards up to $1,000 to projects related to all Cryptobranchids (Giant Chinese and Japanese salamanders, as well as hellbenders). The Jennifer Elwood Hellbender Conservation Grant awards up to $1,000 to projects related only to hellbenders.

These CIG grants were initiated to support projects that uphold conservation priorities for giant aquatic salamanders. The CIG grant committee prefers projects that are broad in scope and over-all impact for the taxa in general and will select applications for funding based on the following:

  • Broadness of application for conservation of giant salamanders.
  • Field conservation of species and their habitats or mitigation of threats.
  • Innovative education initiatives to benefit species at risk and their habitats.
  • Research that has direct application to the health or recovery of species at risk.
  • Partnerships and permits are approved and demonstrated.

Please see the flyer for details or download the form from the CIG website; the deadline to apply is March 31, 2017.  Contact Diane Barber with any questions.

New SSPs

Sydney Carlile, Rolling Hills Zoo

Kendal Davis, Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium

New Program Leaders

SSP Coordinator and Studbook Keeper

Josh Sisk, Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens

Ryan Sears, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium

Nichole Hartman, National Aviary

Mackenzie Mathis, Tennessee Aquarium

SSP Coordinator

Joe Forys, Audubon Zoo

Matt James, Zoo Miami

Studbook Keeper

Craig Miller, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

Candidate Program Leader

Bill Hughes, Tennessee Aquarium

Sarah Pechtel, Potter Park Zoological Gardens

Craig Pelke, San Antonio Zoological Society

Abbey Elkert, Memphis Zoo

New Program Leader Vacancies

Find applications and instructions regarding vacancies in the Animal Program Handbooks.  Applications are due  April 1, 2017, unless otherwise noted. For a full list of available Program Leader positions, visit the Current Program Leader Vacancies page.

TAG Chair

Please send application materials to the AZA Conservation & Science Department.

SSP Coordinator and Studbook Keeper

Please send application materials to Michael Ogle, Chelonian TAG Chair.

Candidate Program Leader

Please send application materials to Harrison Edell, Ciconiiformes/Phoenicopteriformes TAG Chair.

New Publications

Please note that all documents are available for download on the Program's page found by logging in and searching the Animal Programs Database.

Breeding & Transfer Plans

Cardinal, Red-capped
Crane, Whooping
Duck, Spotted Whistling
Duck, West Indian Whistling
Frogmouth, Tawny
Gecko, Henkel’s Leaf-tailed
Laughingthrush, White-crested
Lemur, Red Ruffed
Mongoose, Banded
Otter, Asian Small-clawed
Otter, North American River
Pitta, Hooded
Rail, Guam
Sawfish, Largetooth
Sawfish, Longtooth
Sawfish, Smalltooth
Vulture, Hooded
Wallaby, Parma


Crocodile, Siamese
Flamingo, Chilean
Flying Fox, Indian
Guineafowl, Vulturine
Hartebeest, Jackson’s
Hornbill, Trumpeter
Ibis, Madagascar Crested
Langur, Silvered Leaf
Mongoose, Banded
Penguin, Northern Rockhopper
Rhinoceros, Eastern Black
Stork, Marabou
Vulture, Cape

Population Viability Analyses

Crocodile, Cuban
Equid TAG
Snake, Louisiana Pine

Want to contribute to the Update?

All announcements for the monthly Animal Programs Update should be submitted to the AZA Conservation & Science Department by the 25th of the prior month.

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