It's a jungle out there when it comes to conservation tech – but there's a cloud for that

Courtesy of Species360 (not a move by Microsoft into the zoology space)

zookeeper and seals

Is your team flinging poo at visitors to your business? There's a cloud for that – as long as those doing the flinging are literal monkeys.

Though Oracle is famed for its wild licensing structures, it's nothing compared to the cloudy Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS) database and associated Sample Storage module devised by conservation nonprofit Species360 (nothing to do with Microsoft, don't worry).

Though dealing with business stakeholders or monkey business from fellow IT professionals can often feel like managing a menagerie, at least you don't need to extract *ahem* their "serum".

Collection of blood and tissue for genetic analysis, population management, fighting disease or research purposes is necessary among zoos, veterinary and conservation orgs. But where to put all that data – and how to organise it?

ZIMS is touted as purpose-built for helping keep track of biological samples and animals' medical history so zoo staff or researchers know what sample types have been stored, how they are being preserved, and where the material is located.

The software provides millions of unique samples, designed to improve how zoos, aquariums and wildlife communities manage sample resources worldwide, said Paul Calle, a member of the Species360 Board of Trustees as well as the Wildlife Conservation Society's chief veterinarian and veep for health programmes.

The systems' ability to link to animal husbandry and medical records already residing in the ZIMS databases provides medical staff insight to biological samples and the history of the animal they represent. Species360 said this would help contextualise medical details to support new discoveries.

Jenna Heinze, veterinary and lab technician at Philadelphia Zoo, said: "It is extremely important for us to participate in research and discovery to improve the care and conservation of these species. We expect ZIMS Sample Storage to make it a lot faster and easier to manage our samples, to share information across teams, and to support incoming research requests."

The new DB and software are immediately accessible to Species360 members.

The Register can only hope the database can go some way to promoting the conservation of vultures. ®

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