Eighteen zoos and aquariums from Adelaide to Calgary, including Auckland, are announcing their participation in a global conservation movement. These leading institutions are moving their animal management knowledgebase online – and working with zoological institutions around the world in an unprecedented effort to unite the global wildlife conservation community.
As part of a consortium of more than 800 zoos, aquariums and related conservation organizations in almost 80 countries, these zoos are collaborating and sharing information on more than 2.6 million animals – many who are endangered or threatened species. These organizations have been brought together through ISIS, a global conservation organization that develops software to meet the needs of its members.
ISIS provides the world-standard in zoological data collection and sharing software to more than 800 member zoos, aquariums and related conservation organization in almost 80 countries. The ISIS global database contains information on 2.6 million animals – 10,000 species and is constantly growing. ISIS serves as a centre for cooperative development of zoological software for in-facility use.
“The conversation about how to really connect the global wildlife conservation movement through technology was started more than 10 years ago,” said ISIS Board Chair and CEO of Zoos South Australia Chris West. “It was apparent to the zoological community that ISIS needed to be the leader in this effort, and many of our leading institutions answered that charge.”
Because zoological professionals need access to basic biologic information (age, sex, parentage, circumstance of death, etc.) to manage their animal collections, ISIS has worked with the world zoological community to create the first real-time global animal management tool – the Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS) application. Zoos, aquariums and other conservation organizations worldwide will benefit from ZIMS as a consolidated resource of the pertinent information they needed to enhance local care and international conservation efforts.
The organisations says they chose the ZIMS early adopters to be forerunners in using this system because they are leaders in their industry. These institutions observe best practices for animal management within their organizations and employ excellent data standards for their animal information. The ZIMS early adopters are:
Adelaide/Monarto Zoos (Australia)
Auckland Zoological Park (New Zealand)
Bristol, Clifton, & West of England Zoological Society (United Kingdom)
Calgary Zoo, Garden & Prehistoric Park (Canada)
Copenhagen Zoo (Denmark)
Disney’s Animal Kingdom/The Seas (United States)
Givskud Zoo (Denmark)
Monterey Bay Aquarium (United States)
Riverbanks Zoo (United States)
Seattle Aquarium (United States)
Sedgwick County Zoo (United States)
Smithsonian National Zoological Park (United States)
South Carolina Aquarium (United States)
The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens (United States)
Wildlife Conservation Society (United States)
Woodland Park Zoological Gardens (United States)
Zoological Society of San Diego (United States)
Zoologischer Garten Leipzig (Germany)
“These leading institutions answered the call and dedicated their staff and resources to the ZIMS project because need for the ZIMS application is clear,” said Roger Stonecipher, ISIS CEO. “This software will bring the zoological community together in ways not yet imagined. We are on the precipice of something great here – connecting those who protect and care for animals in the largest social network so far created for a specific purpose.”
Zoos and aquariums have become leaders in the effort to breed endangered animals, and to educate an estimated 600 million visitors each year about the magnificent and fragile interrelationships between humans, non-humans and environments. Through zoos and aquariums, some species have already been rescued from extinction, including the European bison (Bison bonasus), Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx) and Przewalski's wild horse (Equus przewalski).
“ISIS provides a valuable resource to our community, and the ZIMS application is an extension of that,” said Hassan Syed, ISIS Chief Technology Officer. “Many technical experts told us that the ZIMS application was impossibly complex and could not be developed to our specification. However, our team has proven them wrong – we have achieved the impossible!”
The ZIMS application is not the first software created for this purpose. Since 1974, ISIS has created various software packages for this purpose. ISIS software has long been recognized as the world-standard best practice for zoological record-keeping by international regulatory bodies like CITES. ZIMS is an evolution of previous ISIS software; it is the first comprehensive, integrated, real-time application created for this purpose.