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ZIMS at Work: Advanced search delivers a “clutch” win for the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo

The Wilder Institute leads Canada’s only conservation, breeding and release program for greater sage-grouse and celebrated the first successful breeding of the species in 2017. New enhancements to ZIMS for Husbandry Advanced Search makes it easier to track eggs, nest locations, and more. Photo: Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo

The Wilder Institute’s custom-made Snyder-Wilson Family Greater Sage-Grouse Pavilion is the first breeding center of its kind in Canada. With sage brush grown in the wild and a natural environment, the habitat improves the welfare of birds and has led to successful reproduction. Learn more about the Wilder Institute conservation programs, and their impact on species. Photo: Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo

The Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo has been credited with playing a major role in saving as many as five (5) endangered species. Among them, the whooping crane and greater sage-grouse are bred, hatched, and raised by experts on staff, for release into natural habitats.

The Institute took a major step forward for greater sage-grouse conservation when it opened a custom-built breeding facility with a natural environment to promote bird welfare and reproduction. Success soon followed, with the first reproduction in 2017 and excellent results since.

But tracking offspring can be difficult as eggs hatch and chicks move beyond their nest. So when Species360 enhanced ZIMS for Husbandry to include new capabilities for enclosures, custom search, and more, Deanna Snell, Manager of Zoological Records and Animal Relocations at the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo, was an enthusiastic early adopter!

In particular, Calgary’s Animal Care, Health & Welfare team quickly put the custom/advanced search features to use.

“The impact is access to information that was not available before,” says Deanna.  “I use the advanced search for our egg searches and tracking who has laid which eggs, which nests they were located in, etc. For sage-grouse specifically, that can be around 300 eggs per season and we accession and track each egg.”

The team uses column customization to include Nest ID, Clutch ID and additional Identifiers in its Advanced Animal Search feature. Later, when animals are released with transmitters, the new ZIMS feature makes it possible to include tracked information as part of the individual’s history.

Learn more more about Advanced Search and other newly enhanced features in ZIMS for Husbandry and Aquatics, Medical, Care and Welfare, and Studbooks.

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