About NAG

The science of nutrition is an integral component of the management of zoo animals and must be addressed in a scientific and professional manner. The formation of the NAG gave the discipline, and/or practice of nutrition appropriate recognition.

History of the NAG

Founded in 1994, the NAG began with nine members and currently has over 60 members and affiliates from the zoo community, academia, and industry.

Primary Goals of the NAG:

Disciplinary function (the science of comparative nutrition) – advance knowledge about the biology/nutrition of animals

  • Facilitates improved communication and coordination among nutritionists and those requiring nutrition information (i.e., AZA management groups, AZA member institutions)
  • Develop guidelines and protocols for general use
  • Help provide leverage for accomplishing projects, research and or dealing with zoo nutrition and industry problems

Practical function (the practice of zoo nutrition) – diet formulation and feeding animals

  • Development of rational feeding programs for captive animals that will be based on sound scientific principles
  • Helping advance rational zoo nutrition practices
  • Provide service in the fields of nutrition and dietary husbandry to AZA member institutions
  • Help the group recognize and work with our foreign counterparts (through an international liaison)
  • Develop guidelines and protocols for general use
  • Providing service to the AZA
  • Help provide leverage for accomplishing projects, research and or dealing with zoo nutrition and industry problems

The NAG is worldwide

This year the NAG appointed an international liaison to help the group recognize and work with our foreign counterparts. The NAG has welcomed members from around the globe since the origination of the group. The purpose of the liaison is to bring attention to the concerns of foreign animal care institutions housing or working with SSP species and TAGs and to ensure consideration of these concerns by the NAG when guidelines and protocols are developed.