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AZA Accreditation

ZIMS Support for Accreditation by AZA


Species360 and ZIMS directly supports key steps of your accreditation requirements by AZA.   This document provides references to how and where Species360 supports your accreditation efforts.  Please feel free to contact us at for more information.

Animal Records

Animal inventories can be compiled on-demand in ZIMS but are often required to be done at least once a year for accreditation.  Animal inventories typically include details regarding births, deaths, loans, and transfers for example.  ZIMS provides both the Inventory Summary Report and the Inventory Detail Report to meet this need.  They are available under the Start -> Reports menu.

(AZA 1.4.0 – 1.4.3, 1.4.11)

The ZIMS Local Admin and Medical Admin can help maintain husbandry and medical records.  ZIMS Admins can also grant user role rights to others at their institution to maintain animal records.  This is available under the Start -> Institution -> My Institution menu and the Institution Details screen.

(AZA 1.4.7, 1.4.10, and 2.0.4)

ZIMS for Studbooks also support institutions that participate in population management programs.  Studbook data can be accepted into a studbook directly from ZIMS for Husbandry or entered into a studbook in ZIMS for Studbooks.  Contact your Regional Association or Species360 for more details to get started.

(AZA 1.4.13)

ZIMS is built to help easily share data with other Species360 Members.  Global husbandry data is automatically shared between Species360 members in ZIMS.  Additionally, other local husbandry data and veterinarian data can be digitally shared with other Species360 members.  Species360 Members own their own data, and only they can share their local data with other institutions.  To share local medical data, simply set your choice for the level of Medical Sharing to Gold, Silver, or Bronze in Institution Preferences.  In the My Institution Detail screen, institutions can share that level of medical data and/or local husbandry data on any taxonomy or specific animal.  If you do not have access to an animal that you’d like, simply contact the Species360 member to request the access that you need.  For more details, search ZIMS Help for “Global Data and External Sharing in ZIMS” or click here.  If you are sharing data with a non-Species360 member, you can run and email a PDF version Specimen Report, available under the Start -> Reports menu and the Complete Medical History Report, available under the Medical -> Medical Reports menu.

(AZA 1.4.12)

ZIMS Technical Requirements

ZIMS is only available as a web-based solution because this delivers significant benefits versus locally installed solutions.  Species360 members and ZIMS users do NOT need to install software or schedule backups.  Software updates occur regularly and are automatic.  ZIMS data is backed-up on a daily basis and is stored at separate physical enterprise servers over 400 miles apart. There is no need to purchase or maintain expensive server hardware.

(AZA 9.7)

ZIMS users can login from any location allowed by their institution.  Users only need a computer and Internet connection.

ZIMS Technical Infrastructure

Species360 takes a proactive approach to avoid or mitigate the impact of unexpected outages for the ZIMS platform in order to provide an always-on, globally available species management system for our members. This includes:

  • Co-location in a high-availability, professionally managed, 3rd party datacenter with multiple isolated internet routers and redundant internal networks.
  • Multiple Network load balanced virtual front end (web) servers, which can be expanded or replace as needed.
  • Fully replicated backend database architecture with less than 15-minute lag on database transactions, which can be switched in less than 5 minutes.

Not all outages can be avoided, such as natural disasters.  Therefore, to help ensure that we can react to disasters as quickly as possible we continually monitor our services and alert for any detected outages.  We make every effort to partner with services providers that provide the highest level of support, transparency, and communications, and we monitor these services on a high frequency basis.

If a disaster does strike, we are prepared with a recovery strategy to prioritize speed of recovery and limit data loss.  Depending on the type of outage or disaster, the recovery time and amount of data loss can vary.

  • ZIMS maintains a full database replication on a separate server.
  • Database transactions are backed up every 6 hours and stored within the same datacenter, separate from the live servers.
  • Full ZIMS database backups are performed once per week. These backups are stored within the same datacenter, separate from the live servers.
  • Database backups are also transferred securely to an alternate Species360 location should a need arise for a cold restore of the data.
  • Weekly backups are kept for 3 months.
  • Monthly backups are kept indefinitely.
  • An alternate ZIMS cold site with the needed infrastructure is available and could be ready for use, if needed, within 4-6 hours of a disaster.
  • Validation restores are executed periodically to ensure they are viable for use in disaster recovery.

 (AZA 1.4.4 – 1.4.6)

If you have other questions, concerns, or recommendations about how Species360 supports AZA accreditation standards please contact us:

Want to learn more?
We maintain a guided training document on how to collect data in ZIMS in support of accreditation standards:
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