news releases

2005.09.19 > For Immediate Release
contact: Teresa Gleason - University Affairs
phone: 402.554.2762 - email: tmgleason@mail.unomaha.edu

UNO Research Facility Receives Certification from American Zoo and Aquarium Association

Omaha - The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) Callitrichid Research Center has received certification as a related facility from the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA).

The certification was granted by the AZA Accreditation Commission during its annual conference held Sept. 13-18 in Chicago.  Certification is required for membership in the AZA.

The UNO Callitrichid Research Center, established in 1982, has participated in captive breeding and conservation programs for three species of South American monkeys that are classified as endangered or threatened with extinction – the golden lion tamarin, the black tufted-ear marmoset and the white-faced marmoset.  It is the only university-related facility in the country that is certified by the AZA.

"Callitrichid" is the scientific name for marmoset and tamarin monkeys, species in the Family Callitrichidae.

"The certification of our center is a testament to the dedication of our staff and the commitment of UNO to our participation in these important programs," said Jeffrey French, the center's director and the Varner Professor of Psychology and Biology at UNO. 

Kristin Vehrs, interim executive director of the AZA, said the organization is pleased to certify the UNO Callitrichid Research Center as a related facility.  "Zoos, aquariums and related organizations holding wildlife in North America are continually evolving and reaffirming their commitment to animal care, professionalism, ethics, conservation and education," she noted.  "In turn, they are enriching the lives of their community.  UNO is no exception."

The mission of the AZA Accreditation Commission is to establish, uphold and raise the highest zoological and aquarium industry standards through self-evaluation, on-site inspection and peer review.  The certification process includes an initial application and a two- or three-day inspection by a team of zoo and aquarium professionals.

The AZA, founded in 1924, supports excellence in animal care, conservation, education, science and recreation.

For more information about the UNO Callitrichid Research Center, contact French at 402.554.2558 or jfrench@mail.unomaha.edu, or visit the Web at http://avalon.unomaha.edu/~crc/.

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