EmailHeader 2018 3  
  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.

Meet our New Board Member

General Board Member - Amy Robinson, CPBT-KA

AmyRobinsonAmy received her BA in Psychology from the University of Georgia. She began her career working with animals at Zoo Atlanta in 2000 presenting and training primarily birds at the amphitheater. After seven years she moved to Florida to work for Natural Encounter, Inc. While at Natural Encounters, Amy worked primarily at the Flights of Wonder show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and also participated in the State Fair of Texas and helped open the show at the Dallas Zoo. After fulfilling the contract at the Dallas Zoo Amy stayed in Texas and is now the Director of Ambassador Animal Experiences. This includes the Wildlife Show, Outreach, Cheetah Run, and the Wild Encounters stage that presents a variety of animals throughout the day on the hour and half hour. Amy became a member of IAATE in 2002 and served as an Executive Board Member from 2010-2014. Amy has been a member of AZA since 2014. Amy has completed Dr Susan Friedman’s LLA course is a Certified Interpretive Guide-Trainer (CIG-T) and is also Certified Professional Bird Trainer (CPBT-KA).

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! 

Are you a Hopeful Certificant?

Looking for the study guide for the CPAT- KA exam? Click here

Looking for the study guide for the CPBT- KA exam? Click here

Testing Cycles for 2019

The testing cycles have closed for 2019. Stay tuned for the 2020 testing cycles.

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

IATCB is meeting this month to update the CPBT-KA exam!

Already certified? 

Calling on Certificants. Preparing for a new examinations is an on-going task and we need your help! We are looking for new items (questions) for the exam. If you are currently certified, we would love for you to help us out. If 5 of your questions are selected for the exam, you will receive 1 hour of CEUs. Email for more info!

The CPBT-KA and CPAT-KA credential is valid for 5 years from the date it is awarded. To renew the credential a certificant must either retake 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!

Trainers Talk

IAATE Position Statements

These documents represent the positions of IAATE on various aspects of avian training, husbandry, and care together with positions on other aspects of presenting birds in public educational and promotional situations.

Readers should bear in mind that each bird is an individual with its own specific behavioral and physiological needs and therefore it is the responsibility of the owner/trainer to choose those practices that are best suited to that individual.

Welfare of Human-reared vs Parent-reared Owls in Ambassador Animal Programs


IAATE supports the use of human-reared owls in ambassador animal programs. IAATE strongly discourages the use of parent-reared owls in ambassador animal programs. IAATE recognizes an owl may experience poor welfare when force and coercion are routinely used for retrieving it from a perch, either in free-loft or tethered….Read more here.

Species Spotlight

Saiga antelope; Saiga tatarica

Saiga populations are concentrated areas within central Asia: Kazakhstan;Saiga antelope Mongolia; Russian Federation; and Uzbekistan. The most striking feature of a saiga is its large head with a huge mobile nose that hangs over its mouth. Males have a pair of long, waxy colored horns with ring-like ridges along their length. They have long, thin legs and a slightly robust body. During the summer, they have a short coat that is yellowish red on the back and neck with a paler underside. In the winter, the coat becomes thicker and longer. The winter pelage is dull gray on the back and neck and a very light, brown-gray shade on the belly. Saiga antelopes also have a short tail. Saiga tatarica are a polygamous species. During the breeding season, saigas congregate into groups consisting of 5 to 10 females and one male. Males are very protective of their harem. Violent fights often break out between two males. It is not uncommon for a male saiga to kill another during these battles. Male saigas grow very weak toward the end of the breeding season. They do not graze at all during the breeding season and spend most of their stored energy defending their harem. As a result, male mortality often reaches 80 to 90%. Saiga antelopes are herbivores. They graze on over one hundred different plant species; the most important being grasses, prostrate summer cypress, saltworts, fobs, sagebrush, and steppe lichens. 

According to IUCN they are listed as Critically Endangered. In 2015, more than 200,000 Saiga died within three weeks in central Kazakhstan. The proximate cause of death, based on multiple strands of evidence, was confirmed as haemorrhagic septicaemia caused by the bacterium Pasteurella multocida type B (Kock et al. 2018). Statistical modelling suggests that there was unusually high relative humidity and temperature in the days leading up to the outbreak; temperature and humidity anomalies were also observed in two previous similar events in the same region. The modelled influence of environmental covariates is consistent with known drivers of hemorrhagic septicemia. Given the Saiga population’s vulnerability to mass mortality and the likely exacerbation of climate-related and environmental stressors in the future, management of risks to population viability, such as poaching and viral livestock disease, is urgently needed, as well as robust ongoing veterinary surveillance (Kock et al. 2018).

On 22nd December 2016 the first death of a Mongolian Saiga (S. t. mongolica) was reported by herders to the local authorities in Darvi Soum in the Khuisiin Gobi. Hundreds of live and dead Saiga were subsequently observed with a PPR-like syndrome and signs. Samples were confirmed at the Mongolia State Central Veterinary Laboratory (SCVL) on 6th January 2017 to contain PPR virus and gene sequencing confirmed the virus to be of high similarity to the virus recorded in sheep and goats. The Saiga infection developed rapidly into a full-blown epidemic and by the end of January; death and infection were reported across most of the Saiga range (Kock 2017). Based on carcass counts, over 54% of the population is estimated to have died.

This species is listed on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Appendix II and the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) Appendix II. The CMS Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Concerning Conservation, Restoration and Sustainable Use of the Saiga Antelope came into effect in 2006 and has been signed by all five range states and ten Cooperating Organizations (local and international NGOs). The MoU has an associated Medium-Term International Work Programme (MTIWP) setting out a framework for conservation action by all partners. The MTIWP is reviewed and updated periodically at technical workshops preceding CMS MoU range state meetings.

Small groups of Saiga have been kept in zoos in Europe and the USA but the species is difficult to maintain in captivity. Small rescue and captive breeding centres exist in Russia and Kazakhstan. About 600 Saiga are kept in extensive semi-captive conditions at the Askania Nova centre in Ukraine. A workshop to review options for Saiga captive breeding and reintroduction took place in Moscow in August 2017.

thanksgiving toon