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 variety of educational forums. They have several natural behaviors that can be demonstrated during programming, including flight, calling, and prey stunning. The laughing kookaburra SSP…

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 Straw Colored Fruit Bats (Eidolon helvum) for Ambassador Work SHOW AND TAIL: A Touching Experience (touch tanks) AMBASSADORS IN ACTION: Interpretive Tools for Incorporating Empathy into Live Animal Presentations SHOW…

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 Rican Crested Toad Rococco Toad Woodhouse Toad (Bufo woodhousii) Pacman Frog (Ceratophrys ornata) Frogs African Bullfrog (Pyxicephalus adspersus) African Clawed Frog (Xenopus laevis) American Bullfrog Tomato Frog (Dyscophus spp.) Mossy Frog Ornate Horned Frog (Ceratophrys spp.)…

Reptiles

Reptiles Crocodilians American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) Chinese Alligator (Alligator sinesis) Cuban Crocodile Dwarf Crocodile (Osteolaemus tetraspis) Spectacled Caiman Lizards Agamid Lizards Asian Water Dragon Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps) Frilled Lizard (Chlamydosaurus kingii) Uromastyx/Spiny-tailed Lizard (Uromastyx spp.) Monitors Savannah Monitor (Varanus exanthematicus) Water Monitor White-throated Monitor (Varanus albigularis) Skinks African Gold Skink (aka Schneider’s Skink) (Eumeces schneideri) Blue-tongued Skink (Tiliqua scincoides) Prehensile-tailed Skink (Corucia zebrata) Shingleback…

Mammals

SAG & TAG Pages Felid TAG Small Carnivore TAG Dusty Lombardi, Small Carnivore TAG Chair. Rodent, Insectivore, Lagomorph TAG  Rebecca Young, Rodent, Insectivore, Lagomorph TAG Chair Carnivores Felines Domestic Cat Cheetah Clouded Leopard Serval Canines Domestic Dog Fennec Fox Red Fox Wolf Raccoons, Civets, and Relatives Binturong Central American Cacomistle Ring-tailed Cacomistle White-nosed Coati Kinkajou…

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.

Green-winged Macaw

Green-winged Macaw Ara chloroptera Order: Psittaciformes Family: Psittacidae Overview With regard to their availability and suitability as ambassador animals: Contact the Parrot TAG for availability of macaws through AZA facilities. Macaws do not need to be hand-reared from hatch to make good ambassador birds, in fact, allowing birds to remain with their parents until weaned…

Chilean Rose Tarantula

Chilean Rose Tarantula Latin Name Grammostola rosea    Order: Araneae     Family:  Overview The Chilean rose-haired tarantula is the hardiest of tarantulas and is easy to find in human care and is one of the most common found in ambassador animal situations. Although it has a reputation for being docile (calm), it varies in temperment…

Barn Owl

Barn Owl Tyto Alba Order: Strigiformes Family: Tytonidae Overview Although often readily available through wildlife rehabilitation sources, barn owls are not a beginner owl, and acquisition of one should only be considered if facility has experienced handlers. Many facilities have noted they are more challenging than other owl species due to their naturally secretive nature….

Eastern Screech Owl

Eastern Screech Owl Megascops asio Order: Strigiformes Family: Tytonidae Overview While many facilities recommend screech owls as an “easy” or “beginner” owl, it is important to be extra vigilant with these small species that are more easily, albeit unintentionally, dominated. Despite their diminutive size and apparent ease of handling, in order to provide good welfare,…