Designing analytical software for global data sharing of rhinoceros browse and diet information


DiLorenzo JE, Irlbeck N, Bobko C, Dierenfeld ES. 2003. Designing analytical software for global data sharing of rhinoceros browse and diet information. In Ward A, Brooks M, Maslanka M, Eds. Proceedings of the Fifth Conference on Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition, AZA Nutrition Advisory Group, Minneapolis, MN.


As part of an ongoing effort to develop information resources and tools integrating valuable global research, we present a database and software model that integrates feeding habits, browse usage information, nutrient composition of native and substitute foods, and captive diet records for rhinoceros species. Screen displays and output reports include: Browses/Forages Offered, Browse/Forage Nutrient Composition, Diets Fed by Zoological Facility, Nutrient Recommendations, and Nutrient Comparisons. Nutrition based information for captive wild animals is often difficult to locate, and more so to collate for dietary evaluation. Presenting this collection of data in a simplified, concise format to researchers and zoological staff is challenging. ZootritionTM software has pioneered a format for data collection and presentation, in an attempt to improve diet management and evaluation. Using ZootritionTM as a technical foundation, we continue to further develop simplified means to aid researchers in utilizing this data in a proactive and beneficial way. The Rhinoceros Taxon Advisory Group provides an opportunity to develop this prototype. With appropriate database modifications, similar information can be readily compiled through collaborative efforts with other TAG and SSP priority species. This software model can be utilized to collate and disseminate species-specific browse, diet, and nutrient information. It can also be used to compare dietary ingredients and nutrient content of diets submitted from AZA and other global-based zoological institutions. These databases can then be used to compare feeds on a local or regional basis. Maximizing input into the database can only serve to improve animal care within zoological institutions and native habitats.

DiLorenzodatabaseNAG03.Final.pdf     293 KB

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