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NEW! EAZA uses ZIMS for international biobank

Caption: Taken collectively across wider populations, biological samples such as blood and tissue lead to discoveries that can improve the welfare of an entire species. It is then extremely important to have accurate sample data that can link to the animal from which it came. ZIMS for Medical – Biobank is uniquely designed to enable regional and international communities to securely manage large sample collections. (Photo licensed from Adobe Stock Images)

Overview: Developed with guidance and input from the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA), the ZIMS Biobank feature enables regional and international zoo and wildlife organizations to securely manage large sample collections across regions. It will be used to facilitate the operations of the EAZA Biobank which already serves zoo and aquarium and wildlife member institutions in Europe and the Middle East.

This project was supported by funds from Beauval Nature and the Royal Zoological Association of Antwerp (KMDA), while the EAZA Biobank itself is supported by the European Union LIFE+ fund.

The EAZA Biobank provides the resources and infrastructure for collection, curation and long-term storage of samples, allowing those samples to be a primary resource for genetically supporting population management and conservation research. When veterinary teams care for wildlife, biological samples are critical to identifying disease, understanding an individual animal’s condition, and treating illness.

Caption: The EAZA Biobank consists of four banking hubs for the EAZA community located in Antwerp Zoo, the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) Edinburgh Zoo, the Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) and Copenhagen Zoo. Their staff ensure the keeping, curating and registering of samples under optimal and long-term storage, supporting the aim of the EAZA Biobank. Read more. (Photo courtesy of Copenhagen Zoo)

Taken collectively across wider populations, these samples can lead to discoveries that can improve the welfare of an entire species. It is then extremely important to have accurate sample data that can link to the animal from which it came.

For its work, the EAZA Biobank sought an efficient, rapid and accurate way to capture, share and manage data for each sample. Thus, the EAZA Biobank teamed up with Species360 to create the ZIMS Biobank feature based upon ZIMS for Medical – Sample Storage, introduced earlier this year.

The ZIMS Biobank feature walks veterinary staff through capturing and sharing the required information while enabling EAZA Biobank staff to supplement information on sample storage. The ZIMS Biobank feature streamlines sample management, while ensuring that the EAZA Biobank and its members retain accurate, searchable, complete information about each sample.

“This is a major step forward for the collection and management of biological sample information, which will lead to real benefits in zoo- and aquarium-based ex situ conservation,” said Myfanwy Griffith, EAZA Executive Director. “We look forward to seeing how large-scale adoption of the module will influence the research and practice of population management for conservation.”

ZIMS, or the Zoological Information Management System, is used by more than 1,200 wildlife institutions worldwide to record medical, husbandry, and studbooks information for animals, collections, and enclosures.

For more information about EAZA Biobank, contact Ania Brown at

For more information about Species360 and the Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS), contact

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