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ZIMS at Work: Vogelpark Marlow celebrates 20 years recording data used in conservation and research

Vogelpark Marlow connects people with the wonder of birds with their spectacular bird shows. Photo: Vogelpark Marlow.

Vogelpark Marlow (Marlow Birdpark, Germany) recently celebrated its 20th anniversary as a member of non-profit Species360! As a member of the global Species360 community, the Zoo records and shares data on 2,568 animals and groups of 235 taxa using the Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS). 

The bird park opened to the public in 1994 and is home to a wide array of birds of various species, as well as other animals such as primates, alpacas, and more. As a small zoo, Vogelpark Marlow uses ZIMS for Husbandry in its day-to-day activities and record-keeping and, like many other zoos, often uses the reporting options for animal transfers.

In addition to its use of ZIMS, the Zoo is involved in the work of the Species360 Conservation Science Alliance (CSA). The Zoo’s Head of Conservation, Simon Bruslund, supports the CSA with avian-related research and is currently collaborating with the Alliance on the Songbird Species Knowledge Index project.

The bird park records data in ZIMS on 2,568 animals and groups of 235 taxa including this pair of  hyacinth macaws. Photo: Vogelpark Marlow.

On the conservation work, Simon Bruslund said, “We are deeply involved in the collaborative conservation work on birds throughout the wider European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) region. The data we enter is frequently used to assist the development of EAZA Regional Collection Plans (RCPs), evaluate breeding programs, refine our shared priorities, and assess progress towards our set targets in the RCPs.”

The Zoo works with the EAZA bird Taxon Advisory Groups (TAGs) and was most recently involved in developing the RCPs for owls, pigeons and doves, and used ZIMS to conduct species population analyses. Next year the Parrot TAG, chaired by Simon, will lead on developing the new RCP for Parrots in collaboration with other TAG members, in situ experts, and EAZA Population Biologists.  

“By using ZIMS, we are able to get quick answers to inform population management decisions, as well as conduct more in-depth analysis to inform our conservation strategies. Vogelpark Marlow is also involved in the very exciting and even more data-driven research work of the Species360 Conservation Science Alliance, where ZIMS data contributes toward high-level advocacy for conservation action. I’m very proud of our little bird park for being a part of that.”

Happy Anniversary to Vogelpark Marlow. Here’s to many more years of collecting and sharing data to inform animal care and conservation!

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