Managing zoo diet information: introducing the next generation of software


Figett AL, Edwards MS, Peterson L, Webster M. 2011. Managing zoo diet information: introducing the next generation of software. In Ward A, Coslik A, Maslanka M, Eds. Proceedings of the Ninth Conference on Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition, AZA Nutrition Advisory Group, Kansas City, MO.


We all want to feed our animals well. Yet within zoos and aquariums different stakeholders concentrate on different aspects of feeding; some may be mostly concerned with the nutrient content, others with the way food is presented. The physical and behavioral health of animals may be a principal focus and sustainability, efficiency and costs are becoming increasingly significant drivers. Obviously all of these aspects require consideration to achieve the initial premise of ‘wanting to feed our animals well’. Sharing knowledge about best feeding practices can improve global management of living collections, with anecdotal descriptions replaced by meticulous observation, documentation and analysis. Recording and cataloging feeding practices and the outcome of adjustments, along with the means for systematic retrieval of said records at some later point in time, would represent a significant advance in the evaluation and dissemination of effective feeding practices. But how can we achieve this vision?

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