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New in ZIMS for Studbooks: Global search identifies collective breeding programs by species, IUCN status, and more

Cheetah populations are assessed by the IUCN as vulnerable to extinction. The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), the Pan-African Association of Zoos and Aquaria (PAAZA), European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA), and more use ZIMS for Studbooks to help manage global populations and safeguard the welfare of individual animals. (Source: Adobe Images)

GRAPH: Using Global Search, ZIMS users identify studbooks by IUCN status, associations with collective breeding programs, studbook keepers, and institutions with animals in their collection.

I am pleased to introduce Global Search for ZIMS for Studbooks. For the first time, there is one location where species and population managers can get a comprehensive view of studbooks being managed across regional associations or institutions worldwide. ZIMS for Studbooks Global Search offers breakouts by IUCN status, regional association, taxonomy, users assigned, and more.

For regional and international associations, and those leading species advisory and population management programs, ZIMS for Studbooks Global Search provides readily-available insight to the full scope of studbooks supporting collaborative breeding programs.

“ZIMS for Studbooks is a significant evolution for the management of zoos’ and aquariums’ population data, it makes the information we manage more accessible and more relevant for serving conservation efforts and allows us to gain more knowledge to continuously improve the care we provide. It has modernised and streamlined the way we manage the International Studbooks (ISBs) through better and more cohesive records management, improved access and advanced security, and has made cross-institutional and cross-regional collaboration vastly easier.”

Martín Zordan, Chief Executive Officer of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA)

Because ZIMS (Zoological Information Management System) data reflects the latest updates in both studbook and animal records data, these search results give associations an accurate view of information previously kept in isolated lists. This includes:

  • What studbooks are being managed throughout the association and its members;
  • How many living animals are in each studbook;
  • How many institutions are managing a species at any given time, as well as who the studbook managers are for each program.
More than 1,200 studbooks are managed using ZIMS for Studbooks, providing better tools for sustaining populations, ensuring the welfare of the animals, and collaborating across regions. ZIMS for Studbooks is the result of collaboration between the world’s leading international and regional zoo and aquarium associations and Species360.

For individual zoos and aquariums, global search enables any ZIMS user to view a list of studbooks their staff are assigned to, or a list of studbooks that they currently manage within their collection:

  • How many species in my institution are part of collaboratively managed programs? View the variety of species your institution supports that are part of larger, recommended collaborative breeding programs, and quickly obtain data required for grant applications, community education, and more.
  • For example, enter taxonomy “Aves” and “Osaka Zoo” into the taxonomy held by filter to see all bird studbooks that match a species currently held by Osaka Zoo. 
  • How many studbooks does my institution support? View all of the studbooks that are assigned to users within your institution, through actual management of studbook data or in an advisory capacity. For example, enter “studbook keeper” and “Osaka Zoo” into the filter to see all studbooks with studbook keepers at Osaka Zoo. If the user just enters Osaka Zoo into the filter – the results will display all studbooks that have anyone at Osaka Zoo assigned.
The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) leads conservation initiatives to sustain and protect populations of species that are in danger of becoming extinct. ZIMS for Studbooks Global Search provides a one-stop view of 109 WAZA International Studbooks, studbook keepers (omitted here for privacy) and their institution, number of living animals in the program, scope of zoos and aquariums holding animals of that species, and the IUCN status of the species.

Katelyn Mucha is ZIMS for Studbooks Product Owner, Species360, and an Adjunct Population Biologist for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Population Management Center.

As of 2021 there are a total of 1259 studbooks managed in live ZIMS. In 2020, studbook keepers for leading international and regional zoo and aquarium associations completed the migration of existing records and created new studbooks. The result is a vast, central resource managed by the associations and their members, that paves the way for better planning, collaboration, and communication.

As always, many thanks to the population management experts and studbook keepers that collaborate with us to bring new tools to the community. We look forward to continuing to help provide studbook keepers, associations, and institutions better tools, information, and insight.

ZIMS for Studbooks is the result of collaboration between the world’s international and regional zoo and aquarium associations and Species360.

Read more about ZIMS for Studbooks.

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