Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Monumental Change in Professional Animal Care and Management

ISIS hopes to revolutionize worldwide animal conservation efforts with the introduction of a Web-based animal knowledge management tool

Global effort begins at leading zoological institutions

EAGAN, Minnesota USA (April 5, 2010) -- Today, ISIS introduces the Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS) application; the first online, global animal management tool. The initial visible use of the ZIMS application will be the engine that feeds much of the information behind a new Web site at http://www.isis.org/

The ZIMS application has been in the making for years. The zoological community began discussing the need for a real-time pooled animal knowledgebase 10 years ago. After years of dedication and untold hours, the ISIS community has delivered the ZIMS application – the first real-time database of animal knowledge.

"I am extremely proud of our team, and our community," said Roger Stonecipher, ISIS CEO. "All of the individuals who had a part in making this system a reality deserve to celebrate today. We are on our way to truly making a difference in conservation of animal species."

Zoos, aquariums and other conservation organizations worldwide will use the ZIMS application to track pertinent information needed by their animal-care staff, including collection management, husbandry, and health and disease history. This effort begins today at 18 leading zoos and aquariums, which ISIS chose to be forerunners in using this system. These early adopters are:

Adelaide/Monarto Zoo (Australia)

Auckland Zoological Park (New Zealand)
Bristol, Clifton, & West of England Zoological Society (United Kingdom)
Bronx Zoo/Wildlife Conservation Society (United States)
Calgary Zoo, Garden & Prehistoric Park (Canada)
Copenhagen Zoo (Denmark)
Disney/The Living 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)
Woodland Park Zoological Gardens (United States)
Zoological Society of San Diego (United States)
Zoologischer Garten Leipzig (Germany)

These early adopters were selected from more than 800 ISIS member organizations based on a variety of factors, including support for the conception of a worldwide knowledge-sharing database, the observation of excellent data standards and best practices for animal management within their organizations, and strong leadership support.

These institutions have had an influential role in the ZIMS design and functionality, and a leadership role in the ISIS community. Beginning today, these institutions will start actively integrating the ZIMS model across their institutions, and providing feedback to ISIS for continual development of the software.

The ZIMS application will feed the ISIS central database, which currently includes information on more than 2 million animals – more than 10,000 species. ISIS members contribute information on their animal collections to this repository, and benefit from this pooled knowledgebase. As the more than 800 institutions that belong to ISIS begin to expand their use of electronic records through the ZIMS application, this knowledgebase will greatly expand.

This collective knowledge will lead to enhanced animal conservation efforts worldwide. Many of the animals represented in the ISIS database are symbols for their species. Today, less than four percent of the Earth’s land surface is protected from development. Natural wildlife habitats are quickly disappearing or becoming untenable. Having basic biologic and health data on these species will benefit conservation efforts worldwide.

About ISIS

ISIS is a membership organization that develops technical solutions to facilitate international collaboration in the collection and sharing of knowledge on animals and their environments for zoos, aquariums and related conservation organizations. ISIS encourages cooperative development of software to meet members’ needs at a reasonable cost. For more information, see http://www.isis.org/

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