North American Kestrel

Falco sparverius Order: Falconiformes Family: Falconidae Overview Males are easily distinguished from females by their size (males are smaller) and their slate blue wings (females have brown wings). Kestrels possess a pair of false eye spots, or ocelli, on the nape of their neck. These dark circles are thought to be a form of protective coloration because they look like

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Tamandua (lesser anteater)

Southern Tamandua Latin Name: Tamandua tetradactyla Order: Pilosa Family: Myrmecophagidae Southern tamandua are also known as lesser anteaters (based on a comparison to Giant Anteaters) and collared anteaters/tamandua (due to their standard coloration of a dark patch of fur in a collar shape on their back). There is a second species of tamandua, the northern tamandua (T. mexicana).  This species

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Emperor Scorpion

Pandinus imperator Order: Scorpiones Family: Scorpionidae Overview This species is commonly found in education collections. Because of their impressive size, Emperor scorpions are known for their wow factor. They do not have potent venom which also makes them a possibility for handling, although their pincers are powerful. Like tarantulas, most people consider scorpions scary or disgusting. This makes them a

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Madagascar Hissing Cockroach

Gromphadorhina portentosa Order: Blattodea Family: Blaberidae Overview A fantastic, easy program animal for any handler. So many different educational messages. And kids of all ages love insects- or at least intrigued by them! Natural History Information Range and Habitat They are found in the tropical, lowland rainforests of Madagascar, typically under dry leaves on the forest floor. The Madagascar hissing

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Collection Planning Examples

Below are example documents on collection planning, including acquisition decision matrixes, that may guide your institution in it’s collection planning needs for ambassador animals. Don’t forget to check out the full Collection Planning Tools page. Example Documents Matrix Consideration Ambassador Animal Evaluation Acquisition Decision Tree SDZG Collection Planning

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American / Common Crow

American Crow Latin Name: Corvus brachyrhynchos Order: Passeriformes Family: Corvidae Photo courtesy of kopperheadpix, Akron Zoo Corvus is Latin for “raven” and brachyrhynchos breaks down to “short beak”.  Corvids are a widespread family of passerines and include birds such as crows, ravens, jays, and magpies. Overview  Crows have the potential to be very impactful ambassador birds.  People see (and hear!)

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Winter 2021

Download Winter 2021 (01-11-2021) newsletter This issue includes: AASAG Committee Updates AASAG Communications Committee Update: 2020 Ambassador Animal Collections Survey Results AASAG Best Practices Initiative Update AASAG Professional Development and Research Initiatives Update Articles Socially Distanced Guest Engagement in the Time of COVID-19 SHOW AND TAIL: To Every Animal, There is a Season (Barn Owl) SHOW AND TAIL: The Little

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Radiated Tortoise

Astrochelys radiata Order: Testudines Family: Testudinidae Radiated tortoises are the closest living relative of the Ploughshare tortoises, the most endangered tortoises in the world. Overview This striking species gives the perfect opportunity to talk about the unique biodiversity of Madagascar and the plight of endangered species across the globe. Radiated tortoises are personable and allow guests a hands on experience

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