Animal Programs Update - March

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AZA Animal Programs: Tip-of-the-Month

Be sure to check in with your Institutional Representatives (IRs) regularly to ensure that you know their wants and needs, and have up to date contact information. If you notice a discrepancy in your program’s IR list, please contact the Institutional Liaison (IL) to request that they update their IR through the AZA website. IL contact information can be found in the Program Leader Portal

AZA Mid-Year Meeting

Mark your calendars for the Permit Workshop that will take place on Wednesday, March 25 from 1:00pm - 5:00pm. The goal of this workshop is to provide tools for AZA institutions to prepare effective permit applications for Endangered Species Act, Lacey Act (injurious wildlife), and Marine Mammal Protection Act listed species. Representatives from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service and USDA will help guide participants through the sometimes tortuous, but ultimately navigable, Federal permitting process.

Professional Development Course

Expand the expertise of your keepers with AZA’s Best Practices in Animal Keeping course hosted by the Buffalo Zoo April 27 - May 2, 2015. This course focuses on the highest standards in animal husbandry, in combination with problem solving, team building and interpersonal skills. In-class discussion, exchange of ideas with animal care colleagues, small group activities, and question-and-answer sessions all enable students to analyze trends, think critically, evaluate problems and propose solutions, and communicate effectively with other members of their organization. Visit the website to learn more and register! Registration ends March 30, 2015.

Graduate/Professional Training - Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation

The Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation, a partnership between George Mason University and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI), is offering a full schedule of unique, intensive residential training courses. Most courses can be taken either for graduate credit or continuing education units. Limited scholarships are available for international applicants and new reduced fees are now available to applicants from less-developed nations. Visit the website or email for more details about each course, course costs, and credits earned.

Estimating Animal Abundance and Occupancy
April 27- May 8, 2015

The course is designed to provide a strong theoretical and analytical background to both graduate students and professionals in distance sampling, mark-recapture, and occupancy modeling techniques, with a strong focus on the practical use of field data in the programs DISTANCE, MARK and PRESENCE. The course is taught by Gary White, Jim Nichols, Jim Hines and Joe Kolowski.

Workshops, Conferences, and Meetings

This section has moved!

Please visit the Animal Programs Workshops, Conferences, & Meetings page to find the current list of these workshops 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

Please be sure to visit AZA's Other Conservation Funding Sources page for information about grants provided by AZA-accredited institutions as well as external sources and check out the excel sheet for detailed information on many other useful resources. Please email any other funding opportunities to AZA's Conservation Department for posting on the website.

Amphibian TAG Grant for Amphibian Conservation

The ATAG awards up to $2,000 per grant cycle for projects that focus on amphibian conservation. This can include field work, captive propagation and educational initiatives. The ATAG assigns priority to projects which focus on the conservation of species within the scope of the ATAG Regional Collection Plan (RCP). The RCP identifies threatened New World amphibians as the highest priority. Since 2006, the ATAG has awarded over $20,000 in grant funds. Deadline for submissions are March 15, 2015. Grant applications and supporting documents should be submitted to Diane Barber using the grant form as a single PDF document. Submissions that are late, do not follow format, instructions, etc. will not be considered.

AZA's Conservation Grants Fund (CGF)

AZA’s CGF is now accepting proposals for the 2015 grant cycle. CGF supports the cooperative conservation-related scientific and educational initiatives of AZA members and their collaborators. Proposals are due March 16, 2015 and all application materials can be found online. CGF awards are announced in early September and awarded funds will become available October 1, 2015. AZA invites and encourages submission from any AZA member. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Shelly Grow.

Friends of Sunset Zoo (FOSZ) Conservation Scholarship 

Two awards will be conferred: one for graduate students, up to $1,000 for expenses related to a field conservation project to be completed by the end of the 2015-2016 academic year; another for undergraduate students, up to $500 for expenses related to a field conservation project to be completed by the end of the 2015-2016 academic year. Projects must meet the definition of “Field Conservation” provided by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Field Conservation Committee: “action that helps secure the long-term survival of species in natural ecosystems and habitats.” The link to the 2015 FOSZ Conservation Scholar application can be found on the Sunset Zoo website or downloaded here. Applications are due March 27, 2015. Please contact David Carter with any questions. 

Cryptobranchid Interest Group (CIG) Grants

The 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. Complete the application and email completed application and supporting documents in a single PDF document by March 31, 2015 to Diane Barber.

New SSPs

Maureen Cleary, Sacramento Zoo

Barry Downer, Tulsa Zoo

Lisa Oland, Indianapolis Zoological Society, Inc.

New Program Leaders

SSP Coordinator and Studbook Keeper

Carol Sodaro, Chicago Zoological Society – Brookfield Zoo

Kim Lovich, San Diego Zoo

Stephanie Richmond, Saint Louis Zoo

Jeffrey Bocek, Houston Zoo, Inc. 

New Program Leader Vacancies

Find applications and instructions regarding vacancies in the Animal Program Handbooks.  Applications are due April  1, 2015, unless otherwise noted. For a full list of available Program Leader positions, visit the Current Program Leader Vacancies page.

SSP Coordinator and Studbook Keeper

Please send application materials to Chris Brown, Ciconiiformes/Phoenicopteriformes TAG Chair.

Please send application materials to Chris Brown, Ciconiiformes/Phoenicopteriformes TAG Chair.

Please send application materials to Chris Brown, Ciconiiformes/Phoenicopteriformes TAG Chair. 

AZA Regional Studbook Keeper

Please send application materials to Martha Fischer, Elephant 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 Program Database.


Breeding & Transfer  Plans

Bustard, Kori
Frogmouth, Tawny
Gecko, Lined Leaf-tailed
Gecko, Satanic Leaf-tailed
Koala, Queensland
Leiothrix, Red-billed
Marmoset, Pygmy
Oryx, Scimitar-horned
Otter, North American River
Parrot, Hawk-headed
Pelican, Great White
Porcupine, North American
Toucan, Chestnut Mandibled
Wallaby, Yellow-footed Rock

Population Viability Analyses (PVAs) 

Rhinoceros TAG






Cichlids, Lake Victoria
Guineafowl, Crested
Hippopotamus, Pygmy
Honeyeater, Blue-faced
Hornbill, Red-billed
Kookaburra, Laughing
Langur, Francois'
Lizard, Chinese Crocodile
Mynah, Bali
Otter, North American River
Penguin, Gentoo
Sifaka, Coquerel’s (International)
Skink, Prehensile-tailed
Stork, Painted
Tamarin, Cotton-top
Toucan, Toco
Turtle, Yellow-headed Temple
Zebra, Plains






Want to contribute to the Update?

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