Species360 Introduces New Feature to Facilitate Animal Biobanks Worldwide

EAZA Biobank uses ZIMS for Medical - Biobank to manage sample collections

The EAZA Biobank is the primary resource for genetically supporting population management and conservation research as well as connecting researchers to available samples.
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Non-profit Species360 advances the care and conservation of wildlife.

MINNEAPOLISAug. 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Global nonprofit Species360 has introduced ZIMS for Medical – Biobank to enable regional or international zoo and wildlife organizations to securely manage large sample collections across regions.

ZIMS for Medical – Biobank was developed with guidance and input from the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA) and the Biobank Working Group, and will be used to facilitate the operations of the EAZA Biobank which already serves zoo, aquarium and wildlife member institutions across Europe and the Middle East. The project was supported by funds from Beauval Nature and the Royal Zoological Association of Antwerp (KMDA), while the EAZA Biobank itself is supported by the European Union LIFE+ fund.

The EAZA Biobank provides the resources and infrastructure for collection, curation and long-term storage of samples, allowing those samples to be a primary resource for genetically supporting population management and conservation research. When veterinary teams care for wildlife, biological samples are critical to identifying disease, understanding an individual animal’s condition, and treating illness.

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Taken collectively across wider populations, these samples can lead to discoveries that can improve the welfare of an entire species. It is then extremely important to have accurate sample data that can link to the animal from which it came.

The Biobank sought an efficient, rapid and accurate way to capture, share and manage data for each sample. Thus, the EAZA Biobank teamed up with Species360 to create a new Biobank feature in ZIMS for Medical.

The new biobank feature is based upon ZIMS for Medical – Sample Storage and walks veterinary staff through capturing and sharing the required information while enabling EAZA Biobank staff to supplement information on sample storage. ZIMS for Medical – Biobank streamlines sample management, while ensuring that the EAZA Biobank and its members retain accurate, searchable, complete information about each sample.

“This is a major step forward for the collection and management of biological sample information, which will lead to real benefits in zoo- and aquarium-based ex situ conservation,” said Myfanwy Griffith, EAZA Executive Director. “We look forward to seeing how large-scale adoption of the module will influence the research and practice of population management for conservation.”

ZIMS, or the Zoological Information Management System, is used by more than 1,200 wildlife institutions worldwide to record medical, husbandry, and studbooks information for animals, collections, and enclosures.

For more information about EAZA Biobank, contact Ania Brown at biobank@eaza.net

For more information about Species360 and ZIMS, contact Support@Species360.org