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  Newsletter 11 August 2020  

Hello Visitor,

The International Avian Trainers Certification Board and the International Animal Trainers Certification Board, IATCB, offers you a way to gain professional credibility, increase your earnings potential, and advance your career. We live in a competitive world, and animal trainers are no different than anyone else looking for advanced knowledge and skill in their profession. IATCB endorses voluntary certification by examination for all professionals involved with animals, including trainers, educators, handlers, veterinarians, and all others involved in the care and handling of animals.

News from the Board

IATCB’s testing corporation has a new web page. This will make it easier for you to navigate and gather information on our exams.

PTC Launched a New Website!

PTC has redesigned our website to improve the ease of finding information, to better assist your candidates, and to highlight key resources. You will find improvements such as:

• Simple navigation
• A mobile responsive modern design
• A candidate corner with answers to frequently asked questions

Visit PTC Online @

IATCB would like to encourage you to become certified. The registration for both the Bird and Animal trainer’s certification is open now! Don’t forget to register and start studying!

What should I study?

Click here: and download the handbook, it contains the study guide!

We would love to highlight you or your facility in our newsletter and on our Facebook page. Let us know the amazing things that you are doing to help raise the bar! Contact for more information.

Want to find out more about setting these types of standards within your facility or becoming certified? Contact the IATCB board by visiting our website!

Testing Cycles for 2019

Testing cycles are the same time for both the Certification Examination for Professional Bird Trainers and the Certification Examination for Professional Animal Trainers.

Fall 2019 Testing Dates

Application Deadline: September 20, 2019

Testing Window: Saturday, October 19—Saturday, November 2, 201

Go to to learn more about who’s eligible to take the exams, download the handbook and start studying!!!

Already certified?

The CPBT-KA credential is valid for 5 years from the date it is awarded. To renew the credential a certificant must either re-take the examination after 5 years or accumulate sixty Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) by attending IATCB approved workshops, seminars, classes, or conferences. Head over to to check out a list of approved CEUs!

Our CEU policy has been updated! Do you have Multiple Credentials through IATCB? When Certificants have multiple credentials, e.g. CPBT-KA and CPAT-KA, CEUs earned will be applied to both credentials. So don’t delay, get both of your certifications!

Trainers Talk

When working with ambassador animals, you have to be flexible. Animals do not fit into molds, so our Jake armadillo aexpectations can’t be rigid, either. It’s also important to recognize that not every facility has limitless resources, and we can’t all just pull our animals out of programming the second a behavioral issue pops up. In addition, not every institution has the opportunity to choose ambassador animals and receive them during their critical period to set them up to succeed.

The Nashville Zoo has a three-banded armadillo that historically was presented by picking him up and holding him, or by putting him within small fencing and letting him run around. For a while, this was not high-stress for the individual, but it became less and less positive over time. This culminated in the armadillo beginning to aggressively pull at the lower part of his carapace with his front claws, resulting in superficial injuries.

It was clear that our armadillo needed to have more choice and control. To aid in this process, he was given a good amount of time off from programming. During this time, his enrichment and husbandry schedules remained the same, and his welfare was still frequently evaluated, but he was not handled except for cursory examinations on a monthly basis. At this point, we did not have the resources to properly train him to participate in programming. He had to be put on the back-burner so that in time, he could be successful.

Recently, I have begun more intensive training for this armadillo. I first identified some potential reinforcement—he did not respond positively to tactile reinforcement or novel objects, and he only showed mild interest in scents, but he did respond favorably to avocado. I’m now able to touch and lift him up while feeding him mashed up avocado from a spoon. At this point, I am just working on very slow desensitization, which is nothing groundbreaking, but it is very rewarding to see a universally adored ambassador animal participate willingly in his work.

I share this as a reminder that giving up on our animals is not an option: It certainly might be easier to send this armadillo away and get a more tractable juvenile in, but we made a commitment to this individual, and we want to see that through. As a department, our Behavioral Husbandry team is trying to be as flexible as possible to ensure the success of our staff and ambassador animals.

-Jake Belair, CPBT-KA

Species Spotlight

Turtle doves have featured in art and culture for thousands of years. Their beauty, song and behaviour inspiredturtle dove Ancient Greeks and Romans, Elizabethan poets, modern musicians, and painters. Perhaps because of their endearing, soothing purr and tender affections when seen perched in pairs, they have long been symbols of love.

Turtle doves are the UK’s fastest declining bird species and they are threatened with global extinction (IUCN Red List of Endangered Species). The full name for the species of turtle dove we get in the UK is the European turtle dove (Streptopelia turtur). There are 5 other species of turtle dove living around the world, out of a total of some 350 species in the dove and pigeon family alive today; 17 species of this family have already faced extinction because of humans, notably including the dodo and passenger pigeon.

There are four main factors associated with the decline of turtle doves. These include the loss of suitable habitat in both the breeding and non-breeding range, unsustainable levels of hunting on migration and disease.

Turtle doves are a vibrant, dainty species of dove (weighing in at around 140 grams) with a charismatic turrrturrr-ing call from which its name derives. In the UK it feeds in open habitats most commonly on arable and mixed farmland, where its staple food of wildflower seeds and farmed crop grains are found on the ground. Near to its feeding grounds, the species nests and roosts in open woodland edges, hedgerows and scrub areas.
Turtle doves are the only long distance migratory dove species in Europe, with their more common relatives such as the collared dove and wood pigeon staying in the UK year-round. They complete annual migrations from their breeding grounds, leaving in mid-late summer, through western Europe to their wintering grounds in West Africa; they typically return to their breeding grounds during April. The UK has around 14,000 breeding pairs of turtle dove according to their last national population estimation in 2009. The best chance you have to see the species is in East Anglia and South-east England, where the species has maintained its highest densities.

There are four main factors associated with the decline of turtle doves. These include the loss of suitable habitat in both the breeding and non-breeding range, unsustainable levels of hunting on migration and disease.