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ASAG emerged from shared goals of achieving joint excellence in avian management, providing focus on conservation, and responding to common challenges facing bird programs within AZA institutions. We pride ourselves on providing a forum where new people, ideas and visions are welcome and mentoring is valued. We work in a cooperative and mutually supportive fashion to achieve our long-term goals.

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ASAG Mid-year Workshop
Palm Springs, CA: March 2012

ASAG Workshop: Maximizing Yellow and Red Bird Programs

The goal of this morning’s ASAG workshop will be to highlight some of the challenges that impact the target species from graduating to Yellow SSP species, if they are a Red, or to a Green SSP species if they are a Yellow.  Twelve Avian TAG’s will present a species.  Five of these species will be selected for further discussion for the afternoon break-out groups, focusing on ways to improve sustainability.
  • Coraciiformes TAG – great hornbill
  • Ratite TAG - southern cassowary 
  • Ciconiiformes/Phoenicopteriformes TAG- scarlet ibis
  • Gruiformes TAG – buff crested bustard
  • Piciformes TAG - bearded barbet
  • Galliformes TAG – blue-billed currasow
  • Raptor TAG – spectacled owl
  • Charadriiformes TAG – Spur-winged Lapwing
  • PACCT TAG – raggiana bird of paradise
  • Anseriformes TAG – pygmy goose
  • Parrot TAG blue-throated macaw
  • Columbiformes TAG – Victoria crowned pigeon

Five species from the morning session will be closely examined. The audience breaks out into groups. The team leader surveys his/her group to determine what the problems are with their target species.  The team develops an Action Plan that really has the potential of being implemented and working successfully.  At the end of the session, the Team Leader presents Action Plan to audience.  

ASAG General Meeting

Welcome, introduction of Steering Committee members, welcome to new Steering Committee members.
Sara Hallager, ASAG Chair, Biologist, Smithsonian National Zoological Park

Avian Flu Update
Yvonne Nadler, Veterinary Epidemiologist, Program Manager, Zoo Animal Health Network, Lincoln Park Zoo.

Atlanta’s Parakeet Aviary: a Model for an Avian Exhibit that Meets Multiple Institutional Goals
Katie Bagley, Lead Keeper, Zoo Atlanta.  Zoo
ASAG Keeper Grant Recipient

PMC Track
Lisa Faust, Alexander Chair of Applied Population Biology.

Sustainability Working Group Presentation
Colleen Lynch, Curator of Birds, Lincoln Park Zoo.

Keeping Kea: Combining Keeper and Program Leader Roles to Improve Welfare and Sustainability.
Jessica Meehan, Zookeeper, Birds, Denver Zoo.
ASAG Keeper Grant Recipient

North American Waterfowl Management Plan and the Federal and Junior Duck Stamp programs.
Michael Kreger, Div. of Bird Habitat Conservation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  

Extreme Exhibit Makeover: Living out of a Suitcase
Gwen Gerdsen, Senior Bird Keeper, Oregon Zoo. 
ASAG Keeper Grant Recipient

Plume Awards
Steve Sarro, Director of Animal Husbandry and Collections National Aviary.

AZA legislative updates
Steve Olson, Vice President, Federal Relations, Association of Zoos & Aquariums.  

Challenges to implementing the Bird Regulations and ideas for addressing them
Jeleen Briscoe, Avian Specialist, Veterinary Medical Officer, USDA, APHIS, Animal Care.

Herds of a Feather Flock Together: Joint ASAG/Ungulate TAG/Bird Hoofstock Multi-Species Exhibit Management Workshop

The challenges we all face in building sustainable populations while creating dynamic exhibits require some outside-the-nestbox solutions. Ungulate and bird curators, managers and keepers have much to gain by stampeding together to explore ways to wring more out of our limited exhibit space: increased capacity for our program animals, more dynamic exhibits to benefit our animals and our visitors, and diversification of keeper skills are just some of the benefits. Whether your tastes run to flocks or herds, this workshop will benefit you, so migrate over to our joint workshop to share ideas on how we can all work together for greater sustainability of our populations.

Introduction and welcome
Martha Fischer, Chair, AZA Antelope and Giraffe TAG, Saint Louis Zoo & Sara Hallager, ASAG Chair, Smithsonian National Zoological Park

Ten things those large birds walking around with your hoofstock would like you to know about them.
Roger Sweeney, Assistant Director, Virginia Zoological Park.  

Ten things those hoofstock walking around with your birds would like you to know about them.
Tim Thier, Zoological Manager Antelope, Saint Louis Zoo

We're all in this together: The evolution of avian management in African mixed species exhibits at Blank Park Zoo.
Lisa Ashburn Large Mammal Supervisor, Blank Park Zoo and Jenni Dyar, Avian Supervisor, Blank Park Zoo.

Interspecies Interactions: When Horns and Beaks Collide.
Michelle Hatwood, Hoofstock Collection Manager, Phoenix Zoo. 

Training and Enrichment for Birds in a Mixed Taxa Exhibit.
Greg Peccie, Animal Operations Manger, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge,

Training and Enrichment for Hoofstock in a Mixed Taxa Exhibit.
Steve Metzler, Assistant Curator, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Successful Management of Jigsaw Puzzle Exhibits.
Sharon Areen Smith, hoofstock keeper, Denver Zoo, and John Azua, Curator of Birds, Denver Zoo.

Creative Management- Adapting to Challenges of Multi-taxa Exhibits.
Michelle Handrus, Senior Keeper, San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Where the Deer and the Antelope (and the Birds!) Play: Setting your hoofstock/bird multi-species habitats up for success.
Martha Fischer, Curator Mammals and Ungulates, Saint Louis Zoo

ASAG Workshop Ciconiiformes/Phoenicopteriformes TAG workshop

This workshop will present a population overview of wading bird trends within the AZA and EAZA region zoos. Avian managers, population biologists and field biologists will present challenges and successes of selected species in an effort to advance our knowledge and conservation goals. Collaborative conservation and research field programs in the South American and Caribbean regions will be highlighted. 

Natural History of Flamingos in the Americas
Dr. Felicity Arengo, Associate Director of the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation American Museum of Natural History.
Featured Guest Speaker

Flamingo Conservation Opportunities and Challenges in the Field

Dr. Felicity Arengo, Associate Director of the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation American Museum of Natural History.
Featured Guest Speaker

Caribbean Flamingo Conservation Group
Chris Brown, Curator of Birds, Dallas Zoo and Children's Aquarium at Fair Park

Male Lesser Flamingo Seeking Single Pink Female…a retrospective and current status of the North American region lesser flamingo population
Laurie Conrad, Assistant Curator of Birds, Sea World San Diego

Fabulous Flamingos and Other Fine Waterbirds – will they weather the Euro crisis? A look at their past, present and future in European Zoos

Catherine King, Coordinator International Programs, Weltvogelpark Walsrode, Germany, EAZA Ciconiiformes and Phoenicopteriformes TAG Chair.

If I Only Had An Ibis… A Classic Tale of Boom and Bust
Peter Shannon, Curator of Birds, Albuquerque Biological Park .

Pododermatitis in Captive Flamingos
Fabia Wyss, doctoral student: Institute of animal pathology, Bern Basel Zoo

One Hot Pink Mess: Population Management for Colonial Species
Brandie Smith, Senior Curator, Animal Care Sciences, Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park.

AZA Region Wading Bird Populations: Past and Present Trends
Robert Webster, Curator of Birds, The Toledo Zoo.