Red Siskin Conservation Center receives Species360 Membership Grant

February 23, 2020 by María V. Cedeño

The Red Siskin Conservation Center (RSCC), which is hosted by Zoológico Leslie Pantin (ZLP), opened its doors in Venezuela in July 2019. This February, thanks to a conservation grant awarded by Species360, Zoológico Leslie Pantin will be able to share […]

The Red Siskin Conservation Center (RSCC), which is hosted by Zoológico Leslie Pantin (ZLP), opened its doors in Venezuela in July 2019. This February, thanks to a conservation grant awarded by Species360, Zoológico Leslie Pantin will be able to share studbook and husbandry data on the Endangered Red Siskins it holds as well as other species subject to conservation programs in ZLP. These data will be shared with international partners in species conservation, including Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, Zoo Miami, Brevard Zoo, National Aviary in Pittsburgh, Zoologischer Garten Basel, Den Blå Planet / National Aquarium of Denmark, Zoo Zürich, Miejski Ogrod Zoologiczny Warsaw, Fundação de Parques Municipais e Zoobotânica (Brazil), and others.

In all, 19 institutions in four regions (Europe, Australia, North and South America), share key information on Species360 databases regarding Red Siskin husbandry and individuals. New connections among these institutions represent new potential alliances for protecting and restoring populations in the wild.

Leonel Ovalle-Moleiro, one of the leading collaborators in the Red Siskin Initiative (RSI), is the Bird Curator at RSCC and oversees logistics for the transfer, reception, and monitoring of specimens that have been confiscated or surrendered. Leonel and RSCC staff will use ZIMS software to curate and share data on individual birds in their care, and can reference husbandry, care and welfare indicators, medical information, and more from partner institutions, as needed.


Commenting on this conservation grant from Species360 and its expected impact, Ovalle-Moleiro said:

“Sharing information generated in the RSCC through ZIMS database will be beneficial for everyone involved, because we contribute unique data from within the range country of the species, under climatic conditions and exposure to other natural elements of their habitat that may be difficult to recreate in other latitudes. We hope to generate communication and welcome feedback, and are eager for this to become a source of ideas or experiences to be replicated for the improvement of management here and in other facilities around the world.

Undoubtedly, the system will facilitate the systematic organization of the data, which will allow us to record events effectively, carry out evaluations and clarify doubts. It will allow a global level of access in a unified format, which will support our interest in  researching and developing new management practices. At present, our information is shared in a somewhat informal way, through direct person-to-person communications, written records, spreadsheets and other non-specialized tools. The access to ZIMS undoubtedly is a leap to modernity for us and a great support for the conservation of tropical fauna.”


Zoológico Leslie Pantin is the first Species360 institutional member in Venezuela, and joins the more than 1,200 zoos, aquariums, wildlife refuge, and research centers worldwide, curating and sharing data on species in 99 countries.

One of the main objectives of RSI is to generate information networks connecting new allies to conservation, not just of the Red Siskin, but of other threatened species around the world; this is why the RSI and ZLP are thankful to Species360 for this amazing opportunity. We are certain that this new alliance will be very beneficial for both organizations and, more importantly, to species worldwide.

RSI is an international partnership that employs community-based conservation strategies coupled with support from species advocates and experts working within zoos and aquariums around the world. Led by the Venezuelan NGO Provita with Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute (NZP/SCBI), RSI supporters include the National Museum of Natural History, Zoo Miami, the Avian Protection and Education Conservancy, and many other collaborators.  Learn more at

See the full article by Mary Ellen Amodeo, Member Communications, Species360 HERE

Provita is a Venezuelan non-governmental organization that for over 30 years has led the country’s only successful integrated conservation program focused on a bird, which has ushered in population recovery of the Yellow-Shouldered Parrot (Amazona barbadensis).

Zoológico Leslie Pantin (ZLP) is a private Venezuelan zoo with 50 years’ experience raising awareness about conservation of native wildlife. ZLP has participated for 10 years in the recovery program for the endangered Orinoco crocodile (Crocodylus intermedius) and American crocodile (C. acutus) contributing to their ex-situ breeding program. ZLP will provide ground preparation for the nursery, and technical oversight and support the development of the guided visits planning.