MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- A record 103 zoos, aquariums, wildlife refuges, and conservation organizations in 35 countries joined global nonprofit Species360 in 2019, reflecting a growing demand for data and analytics used in the care and conservation of thousands of species.
In all, more than 1200 wildlife institutions in 99 countries participate in Species360 and use the Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS) to record and analyze vital information for animals in their care. As one of the largest sets of data on species, including many that face increasing threats in the wild due to climate change, illegal trade, and disease, ZIMS has become a source of critical insight for IUCN Species Survival Committee, CITES, TRAFFIC and others leading efforts to save species.
"As part of Species360, members play a critical role in contributing data that benefits the care and conservation of wildlife. This information helps to inform studbooks and population management initiatives that are key to saving species now threatened in the wild," said Martín Zordan, Interim Chief Executive Officer of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).
New Species360 participants include the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (Indonesia), The Kiwi Trust, or "Kiwis for Kiwi" (New Zealand), Australian National Baboon Colony, National Aviary of Colombia, Cheetah Sanctuary (South Africa), Vancouver Aquarium of the Ocean Wise Conservation Association (Canada), St. Louis Aquarium and Mississippi Aquarium (United States), The Scientific Center of Kuwait, Tashkent Zoo (Uzbekistan), and seven leading Japanese zoos and aquariums. These institutions join long-time leaders within the Species360 community, including San Diego Zoo Global, Wildlife Conservation Society, Zoological Society of London, Wildlife Reserves Singapore, Sydney Zoo, and more.
When aggregated and analyzed worldwide, information contributed by Species360 members delivers insights that help to combat disease, identify and treat medical conditions, and improve the welfare of animals. For example, the ZIMS for Studbooks solution launched in 2018 is used by regional and international studbook coordinators, species survival program (SSP) and taxon advisory group (TAG) leaders to make informed decisions impacting the genetic diversity and health of populations.