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ZIMS in French finds new audience: Institutional members use translation to record and reference essential animal data

Seals in Baie de Somme, a large estuary in the Picardie région of France.

Updated 29-December-2020: Launched early 2020, ZIMS in French has enabled new French-speaking institutions to join Species360 and allowed existing members to simply choose to work in their preferred language.

More than 80 of our institutional members in seven countries are French-speaking first. Since its introduction earlier this year, over 60 institutions and 145 individuals have chosen to use ZIMS in French. 

The husbandry, veterinary, and aquatics professionals taking advantage of this new release represent communities of the Association Française des Parcs Zoologiques (AFdPZ), Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA), and institutions in other French-speaking regions of the world.

New members joining Species360 since the release of ZIMS in French include Océanopolis Aquarium in Brest (pictured here), SARL La Réserve, and Ecozonia. (Photo: Océanopolis Aquarium)

Offering ZIMS in French helps to establish a more robust, accessible, and inclusive Species360 community in two ways: first, by making ZIMS accessible to more zoo, aquarium, and wildlife institutions in French-speaking nations; and second, by enabling more staff at existing member institutions to use ZIMS directly.

Species360 member zoos and aquariums enjoy unlimited user accounts, allowing more staff to record data directly in ZIMS. By providing ZIMS in French, and in Spanish, Russian, and Japanese, makes it possible for zoos and aquariums to extend ZIMS access to more staff members. For many Species360 member institutions around the world, data entry falls to a few — or just one — staff member. By offering ZIMS in additional languages, more husbandry, veterinary, and aquatics professionals can enter data and access information directly using the language of their choice.

“ZIMS is a critical, comprehensive tool for managing our members’ animal data. Having ZIMS available in French makes it more useful for the staff members at the 57 AFdPZ member zoos and aquariums who currently use this valuable tool,” said Cécile Erny, Director of Association Française des Parcs Zoologiques (AFdPZ).

Learn more about the volunteers that made ZIMS in French possible!

When animal care teams enter information directly in ZIMS, the results can be more detailed and informative. “When we started having more people enter information directly into ZIMS, my concern was it would not be as informative or that I would have a lot of errors to fix. But what I didn’t expect was that they were going to be more detailed,” said Christina Newman, registrar for a leading U.S.-based aquarium and conservation program.

To ensure high data quality and accuracy, learn more about enabling staff to enter “provisional data” in ZIMS so that a supervisor can easily review and approve the entry before it becomes permanent.

This translation is the work of French AFdPZ members and Species360, and was possible only through the sponsorship of AFdPZ and nutrition provider St. Laurent foods. Over 8,000 words and phrases were translated by volunteers, and another 12,000 were completed by an external translation service, with help from the Species360 Member Support team.

Read more about St Laurent and their support for ZIMS in French and the Species360 French-speaking community.

All Species360 members have access to ZIMS in French — as well as in English, Spanish, Russian, and Japanese – by choosing to change their language preference at the ZIMS Help menu.

Need help adding staff or assigning roles in ZIMS? Questions? Contact our Member Support team at We will walk you through assigning roles, making templates, etc. so different personal can easily get started in ZIMS.

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