Logistics - Import and Export

Most zoos use a combination of paper and electronic recording systems for importing and exporting animals.

Record keeping is essential for effective management, particularly when considering the many different species in a zoological collection, and the need for consistent monitoring of individual health, welfare, breeding and mortality. It is therefore vital that all animals are individually recognisable (e.g. markings, features, tags) and permanently identifiable (micro-chips).

Internationally there are databases which manage global zoo species data (e.g. ISIS: www.isis.org ). There is also an Animal Record-Keeping System (ARKS) designed to manage information about zoo animals (download the example specimen report). The Single Population Analysis and Records- Keeping System (SPARKS) is similar, but it concentrates on the species rather than the individual. The Medical Animal Record- Keeping System (MedARKS) holds clinical and pathological information. A new Zoo Information Management System (ZIMS) will improve record keeping further by holding all records in one place. Such records also allow for analysis of the data recorded.

There are many reasons why record keeping is so important. Just one of these is for managing captive breeding and for initiating and implementing animal transfers between partner institutions.  Not only are individual animal records consulted but there are many areas of legislation to consider.

Read more about animal transfer logistics 

Animal transfer logistics podcast featuring Penny Rudd.

 Click below to view a 4 minute video showing the movement of two Przewalski’s Horses (Equus przewalskii) from Chester Zoo to a new home. This is the first step in a long process of preparing the area for the planned arrival of Painted Dogs in 2011.