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From AFdPZ: How zoos and aquariums use ZIMS data to monitor animal welfare

This is first in a series of posts following the Species360 and Conservation Science Alliance staff as they conduct educational sessions at regional and international conferences around the world. While most are done virtually, some – like this one – are hosted in person. We are grateful to AFdPZ and Reserve Africaine Sigean for hosting CSA researcher Morgane at this wonderful gathering.

Zoological park “Réserve Africaine de Sigean” lies on the edge of the Bages-Sigean salt-lake in southern France, at the mouth of the river Berre and around a zone composed of salt marshes. 100 zoos and aquariums gathered here for the AFdPZ conference this fall. Among the many sessions, Species360 Conservation Science Alliance researcher Morgane Tidiere led a discussion on using shared data to inform animal welfare indicators.

AFdPZ conference attendees discussed the role of ZIMS data in managing animal welfare.

How does animal data that you record in the Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS) help your institution to improve the management of populations?

That is the question discussed by attendees at the AFdPZ conference organized this year by the beautiful zoological park “Réserve Africaine de Sigean” at Narbonne in the south of France. Over 100 French zoological facilities and aquariums gathered for the assembly.

Conservation Science Alliance researcher Morgane Tidière presented at the session, demonstrating the use of ZIMS data to provide Institutional Reports including survival, growth, and reproduction.

Species360 Conservation Science Alliance researcher Morgane Tidière presents at AFdPZ this fall, demonstrating the use of shared animal data to better understand the unique survival, growth, and reproduction lifecycles of species, sub-species, and individual populations.

“AFdPZ members really appreciated the development of welfare indicators using survival metrics. This is our focus, to provide conservation institutions with essential, data-driven insight to improving the care and welfare of wildlife,” said Dalia A. Conde, Species360 Director of Science and University of Southern Denmark associate professor.

Tidière showed AFdPZ attendees how state of the art analytics are used to produce ZIMS Institutional Reports — and, further, how those reports are used to identify key indicators of welfare for an individual, group, or species.

“By using modern analytics to transform ZIMS data, we provide insight to key indicators such as survival metrics for a population or species. As part of global efforts to sustain the well-being of animals, attendees using Species360 ZIMS may use their institution’s reports to continually improve how welfare is monitored,” said Morgane.

The Conservation Science Alliance is led by Species360 Director of Science and University of Southern Denmark associate professor Dalia A. Conde. The Alliance combines data analytics, biology, and population dynamics experts to answer questions benefiting the care and protection of wildlife.

This work is possible thanks to the support of partners World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Copenhagen Zoo, Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS), and grants from the Interdisciplinary Centre on Population Dynamics at the University of Southern Denmark (CPop, SDU). Morgane Tidière, PhD, is with SDU’s Interdisciplinary Centre on Population Dynamics as well as a member of the Species360 Conservation Science Alliance research team.

Read more about the Conservation Science Alliance, its programs and open data research.

Representatives from over 100 zoos and aquariums gathered at the AFdPZ conference this fall near Narbonne, FR.

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