Institutional Data Management Advisory Group

The mission of the Institutional Data Management Scientific Advisory Group (IDMAG) is to work with AZA and its members to promote 1) the development of effective and efficient data management that includes data collection, data storage, data analysis and data retrieval, and 2) the use of animal records data in AZA-accredited institutions.

IDMAG advises the AZA Board, Accreditation Commission, Conservation, Management, & Welfare Sciences Department, and Program Leaders on issues related to institutional data. It is overseen by the Animal Population Management (APM) Committee, and has one permanent working group—the Government Ownership Working Group (GOWG). To download related documents and procedures developed by IDMAG and the GOWG, visit IDMAG Documents and Guidelines (AZA login required).


IDMAG is administered by a Steering Committee composed of three Officers (Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary), and nine members, all of whom are elected from the general IDMAG membership for three-year terms. The primary functions of the IDMAG are to:

  • Develop and publish data management guidelines.
  • Review actions that may influence AZA data management policy and procedures.
  • Advise AZA members regarding standardized procedures for institutional animal databases.
  • Advise AZA Species Survival Plan® (SSP) Program Coordinators, Studbook Keepers, and Taxon Advisory Group (TAG) Chairs regarding the transfer and use of institutional data, as well as work with the Small Population Management Advisory Group (SPMAG) and other SAGs upon request.
  • Provide technical advice to AZA Animal Programs upon request.
  • Through its GOWG, provide expert advice to government agencies for data management of government managed species.
  • Provide assistance to Species360 in its development of data software, data standards and guidelines, and the Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS) software.
  • Review proposals to be undertaken and any resulting documents, including documents published by the GOWG.
  • Recruit and interview new IDMAG members.


Membership is non-tiered, there are no dues, and though standing rules are in place, there are no bylaws. IDMAG is currently composed of about forty registrars, curators, population managers and researchers. Individuals interested in becoming an IDMAG member must possess expertise in institutional and/or population-level data management.

Interested in Becoming an IDMAG Member?

If you are interested in becoming involved with or obtaining more information about IDMAG please contact Debbie Johnson, Chair.

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