• Florida Kingsnake

    Latin Name: Lampropeltis getula floridiana Order: Squamata Family: Colubridae Considered an unofficial subspecies of kingsnake Overview Capron Park Zoo has been using a Florida Kingsnake as an Animal Ambassador for

    Read more »
  • Eurasian Eagle Owl

    Eurasian Eagle Owl Bubo bubo Order: Strigiformes Family: Strigidae (typical owls) This species is the largest of the Eagle Owls, and largest owl in the world.  Overview This impressive bird

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  • Moon Crab

    Moon Crab  Latin Name Gecarcinus quadratus Order: Decapoda Family: Gecarcinidae The common name “moon crab” is sometimes used for other Gecarcinus species or crabs in the genus Cardisoma. G. quadratus

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  • Ring-necked Pheasant

    With plenty of topics to address during programs and a flashy appearance, the Ring-necked Pheasant can be a good addition to an education team. Staff does need to consider lack of motivation during breeding season when planning out program needs.

    Read more »
  • Laughing Kookaburra

    Laughing Kookaburra Dacelo novaeguineae Order: Coraciiformes Family: Alcedinidae  Overview Laughing kookaburras are the largest member of the kingfisher family and are a dynamic species that can be presented in a

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  • Patagonian Cavy

    As with any species, variation in individual temperament must be taken into account when selecting ambassador animals. However, when desensitized to humans at an early age, these large, charismatic rodents can be excellent program animals. They have many interesting adaptations and teaching facts that can be tied to conservation messaging; and they are generally food motivated, which allows for positive, choice-based presentations.

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  • Turkey Vulture

    Cathartes aura Order: Accipitriformes Family: Cathartidae Overview With regard to their availability and suitability as ambassador animals: Turkey vultures can be acquired from rehab and rescue centers. With good training,

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  • Poison dart frogs (Green & Black)

    Poison Dart Frogs (Green & Black) Dendrobates auratus         Order:    Anura        Family: Dendrobatidae Overview Green and Black poison dart frogs are relatively easy to care for and have

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  • Red-tailed Hawk

    Buteo jamaicensis Order: Accipitriformes Family: Accipitridae Overview With regard to their availability and suitability as ambassador animals: Red-tails can be acquired from rehab and rescue centers. Parent reared birds can

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  • Groundhog

    Marmota monax Order: Rodentia Family: Sciuridae The name of the order “Rodentia” comes from the Latin word “rodere”, which means “to gnaw”. Groundhogs are part of the marmot group within

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Welcome

The mission of the Ambassador Animal Scientific Advisory Group (AASAG) is to develop cooperative relationships between the education, research, and animal welfare interests of the zoo and aquarium community around the topic of ambassador animals (a.k.a. program animals).

AARIC Species Pages

The Ambassador Animal Species Pages is the most robust tool produced by the AASAG. These pages are edited by zoological professionals and institutions with a wealth of experience working with Ambassador Animals. You'll find in these pages management, care, and presentation information for a variety of species used as ambassadors all over the AZA.

Latest Mammals Updated

Virginia opossum

Species  Didelphis virginiana Order: Didelphimorphia Family: Didelphidae Overview  Virginia Opossums are relatively large, and thus easy for audiences to see. They are native to North

Latest Birds Updated

Eurasian Eagle Owl

Eurasian Eagle Owl Bubo bubo Order: Strigiformes Family: Strigidae (typical owls) This species is the largest of the Eagle Owls, and largest owl in the

spring 2020

Download Spring 2020 (04-17-2020) newsletter This issue includes: Ambassador Animal Acquisition AMBASSADORS IN ACTION: Individualization in our Ambassador Animals: A Goat isn’t Just a Goat

Ring-necked Pheasant

With plenty of topics to address during programs and a flashy appearance, the Ring-necked Pheasant can be a good addition to an education team. Staff does need to consider lack of motivation during breeding season when planning out program needs.

Laughing Kookaburra

Laughing Kookaburra Dacelo novaeguineae Order: Coraciiformes Family: Alcedinidae  Overview Laughing kookaburras are the largest member of the kingfisher family and are a dynamic species that

Recently updated herps

Florida Kingsnake

Latin Name: Lampropeltis getula floridiana Order: Squamata Family: Colubridae Considered an unofficial subspecies of kingsnake Overview Capron Park Zoo has been using a Florida Kingsnake

Amphibians

Salamanders Spotted Salamander (Ambystoma maculatum) Tiger Salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) Toads American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus) Colorado River Toad Oriental Fire-bellied Toad (Bombina orientalis) Marine Toad (Rhinella marina) Mexican Spadefoot Toad Puerto

Latest Inverts & Aquatics Updated

summer 2020

Download Summer 2020 (07-08-2020) newsletter This issue includes: COVID-19 Special Articles Our 2-Team Approach During COVID-19 Taking Care of Program Animals Without Programs Moving Our

spring 2020

Download Spring 2020 (04-17-2020) newsletter This issue includes: Ambassador Animal Acquisition AMBASSADORS IN ACTION: Individualization in our Ambassador Animals: A Goat isn’t Just a Goat

Latest AASAG Newsletters

summer 2020

Download Summer 2020 (07-08-2020) newsletter This issue includes: COVID-19 Special Articles Our 2-Team Approach During COVID-19 Taking Care of Program Animals Without Programs Moving Our

spring 2020

Download Spring 2020 (04-17-2020) newsletter This issue includes: Ambassador Animal Acquisition AMBASSADORS IN ACTION: Individualization in our Ambassador Animals: A Goat isn’t Just a Goat

Winter 2020

Download Winter 2020 (01-27-2020) newsletter This issue includes: AMBASSADORS IN ACTION: Close Encounters of the Wild Kind: Linneaus Two-toed Sloth SHOW AND TAIL: Assessing 2.1

Fall 2018 Newsletter

Download Fall 2018 Newsletter SHOW AND TAIL: Breaking the Rules: An unconventional and successful approach to breeding three-banded armadillos Upcoming AZA Professional Development Courses and