ICZ Keeper Conservation Grant – call for nominations.

The ICZ offers an annual $1,000USD grant for projects aiming to protect wildlife and their habitats. You can download an overview and some more information about the past grant recipients here.

Call for applications

Applications are accepted from September 1 until December 31st, 2023.

Please download the application form here.

Feel free to contact us at conservation@iczoo.org with any questions and to apply. We are looking forward to receiving a lot of applications!

We would like to ask you to please consider supporting these grants. Any contribution would be beneficial for zookeepers and conservation initiatives worldwide.

Please contact us at conservation@iczoo.org for more information, to discuss support arrangements and to become a sponsor.


Call for Nominations for “Bowling for ??? 2024 and 2025

Each year ASZK branches Bowl or hold other events to raise money for a conservation project. Profits raised go 50:50 with ASZK to assist in funding their own work for the industry.


To apply fill out the application form here and return it to eo@aszk.org.au

APPLICATIONS CLOSE; November 1st 2023.

Zoo and Wildlife Vet Nurses Australasia 2023 Conference

The ASZK is proud to welcome the Zoo and Wildlife Vet Nurses Australasia (ZWVNA) as the newest sub-committee of the society.

The ZWVNA will be hosting their first official conference as a subbranch of the ASZK at Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo NSW on Saturday 5th August, 2023.

Anyone wishing to present a paper or poster at this conference focusing on Zoo or Wildlife Veterinary nursing/husbandry is encouraged to contact the organisers on zwvna@aszk.org.au. Preference will be given to people able to present in person, however online presentations will be considered.

For further information please click here.

To register for the conference please click here.


Our Quality of Work is Their Quality of Life

ASZK Conference committee is proud to announce the ASZK conference registrations are now open and thanks to some early sponsors we are able to offer it at a reduced cost to last year’s event. The event will be held at Cronulla Sydney with a visit to Symbio Wildlife Park as part of this years program.

With the theme of “Our Quality of Work is Their Quality of Life” we are concentrating on the core of our work – the animals welfare.

For more information on the conference please see the conference brochure here.

Registration now Closed.

Conference Program available here.

ASZK 2023 Sponsors

The ASZK would like to thank the following for their generous sponsorship of our upcoming 2023 conference.

Gold Sponsors







Silver Sponsor

Bronze Sponsor



Conference Sponsors

Call for Papers 2023 ASZK Conference

2023 ASZK Conference Call for Papers.


Volunteer Opportunities

Have you ever wanted to contribute to Conservation on the ground in the Wild? Here is an amazing opportunity to volunteer to help some of Borneo’s most iconic wildlife including Orangutan and Sun Bears. Click below to find out more.


Orangutan Volunteer Program


Sumatran Ranger Project

Sumatran Ranger Project will be constructing a predator-proof livestock corral in a forest edge community in North Sumatra, in May 2023. There are limited opportunities for zookeepers to be involved in a hands-on capacity with this project, starting May 1, 2023. The trip is coordinated by Sumatran Ranger Project leader and Deputy Mammal Curator at Auckland Zoo, Amy Robbins. It is over 8 days, some of which will involve construction of the corral in addition to time spent with the ranger team on a patrol route. There is also a day of relaxation and fun, tubing and exploring the local rivers. You don’t need to be hugely fit, but a reasonable level of fitness and ability to work in the heat is necessary.  Please contact Amy directly on sumatranrangers@gmail.com for more information. Getting there is easy from Australia or New Zealand and Amy can advise you of dates and timings and assist with any other questions. See attached itinerary for a daily schedule.

Livestock Corral Itinerary 2023

Zoo Animals and Covid

The Zoo and Aquarium Association (ZAA) has put out the following information around zoo animals and Covid-19

Australia and New Zealand are moving into a new stage of the COVID-19 pandemic in which we live with a certain amount of the virus circulating in our communities, with high vaccination rates and certain health measures protecting people.

 Through most of the pandemic, we have been fortunate to have either very low or no community spread whilst our zoos and aquariums have been open to the public, which has made the risk of our animals contracting COVID-19 incredibly low.

 As we shift to living with COVID-19, strict biosecurity protocols for the species most at risk of contracting the virus are more important than ever. Global monitoring shows that overseas whilst most cases of animals with COVID-19 seem to present with only mild symptoms, COVID-associated deaths have now been reported in a number of lions, snow leopards, and beavers.

These cases in animals are considered to have been acquired from humans and, in some instances, transmission has occurred despite staff being vaccinated and biosecurity protocols being in place.

We strongly suggest that members re-evaluate the risk to their animals with advice from their veterinarian, particularly in consideration to the species currently known to be at risk of contracting COVID-19:

  • Carnivora
    • Canids – domestic dog, raccoon dog
    • Felids – domestic cat, fishing cat, tiger, lion, cougar, snow leopard
    • Hyaenidae – spotted hyena
    • Mustelids – domestic ferret, American mink, Asian small-clawed otter
    • Procyonids – coati
    • Viverrids – binturong
  • Primates – gorilla, African green monkey, macaque species, baboon, grivet, common marmoset
  • Artiodactyla
    • Cervids – white-tailed deer
    • Suids – domestic pig
    • Hippopotamus – common hippo, river hippo
  • Pteropodids – Egyptian fruit bat
  • Rodents – beaver, hamster, bank vole laboratory mice (only with more recent COVID-19 variants),
  • Leporids – domestic rabbit
  • Tupaiids – tree shrew

Transmission of COVID-19 from animals back to humans has to date only been reported with farmed mink. Although the virus likely originated via transmission from bats to humans, there is no current evidence that animals play a significant role in spreading COVID-19 to people. However, a cautious approach may consider potential risks around transmission from animals to humans.

We have worked with the ZAA Veterinary SAG to develop a position statement, available to read on the ZAA Portal. Please note that as new information continues to become available this position statement will not be provided as a downloadable file whilst changes continue to be made. If you have trouble accessing the ZAA Portal, please contact admin@zooaquarium.org.au

ZAA continues to monitor the roll out of the Zoetis veterinary COVID vaccine to zoo animals in the US. This vaccine is not available in Australia and New Zealand. Importation would require approval and registration by the relevant jurisdiction’s government authority. The Vet SAG are doing some early exploration of future options for vaccination in this region.”

Animal Care Professionals Survey

The University of Tasmania is conducting research in to the resilience, wellbeing and mental health needs of animal care professionals. The study hopes to:

  1. Identify resilience and wellbeing (both positive and negative) of animal care professionals in Australia.
  2. Identify what individual and workplace resources would benefit these individuals.
  3. Develop readily accessible resources to promote resilience and positive wellbeing in animal care professionals.

This subject is obviously very relevant to the zookeeping community and this study will hopefully have some very tangible results for ASZK members. Those who complete the survey can enter a draw for one of six $50 Coles/Myer gift vouchers.

If you would like more information about the study, you can read the pdf provided by the University of Tasmania here.

To participate in the study click here.

The survey closes July 31, 2020.

Des Spittall Scholarship for Keeper Development


The Australasian Society of Zookeeping operates and manages the annual ‘Des Spittall Scholarship for Keeper Development’, which is available to any ASZK member who has been a financial member for two years or more. The annual scholarship is named in honour of the late Des Spittall, a life member of ASZK. It is to the value of $3,000 and has been established to support the professional development of zoo keepers in the Australasian region. More than one smaller scholarships may be issued if there are requests for less than $3,000 dependant on merit.

Scholarship applications can be sought for the following (but not exclusive) types of activities;

  • Research projects
  • Undertaking volunteer work on conservation projects
  • Working on community change or capacity building projects
  • Undertaking study either in Australia or overseas (overseas study will only be supported if nothing comparable is in Australia or New Zealand)
  • Attending a conference or workshop
  • Study tour of zoos or institutions

Prospective applicants are invited to submit a written proposal for their intended proposition, outlining in as much detail as possible the aim, purpose and the anticipated outcomes of the activity. This includes how the activity may support development of colleagues.

All applications are then evaluated by the ASZK Scholarship Committee within a fortnight of the closing date with applicants informed shortly after.

Successful applicants will be required to submit a report at the end of their project term detailing outcomes and expenditure records. An article for Thylacinus, or a presentation to the ASZK or ICZ annual conference on the project is also encouraged.

Applications close 1 March 2020. Download an application form here.

More information can be found by contacting Liz Romer at eo@aszk.org.au