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  Newsletter 11 August 2020  

Hello Visitor,

Certificant Highlight

Dustin Longstreet- Wings of Wonder Program Trainer at the Cincinnati Zoo, CPBT-KA

DustinLongstreetI have always been fascinated with animal behavior and training since it is one of the only ways we can really communicate with animals. I initially heard about the IATCB and the certification program through Natural Encounter INC, where I worked and started my animal training career. I immediately knew it was something I wanted to accomplish. I knew that this certification would be important and help me in many ways. First, it would advance my training and husbandry knowledge and in exchange help me to provide the most humane and effective care to the birds I work with. Second is it would encourage me to attend conferences and workshops to earn Continuing Education Credits (CEUs). These workshops would not only earn me CEUs but also allow me to continue educating myself and network with other trainers. This field is always developing and evolving so continuing to learn is very important.

I studied for the Certified Professional Bird Trainer exam by going over many articles and books from the recommended reading section. I really enjoyed this process because the material from the articles I was able to apply immediately to my animals at the zoo. One of my favorite reads was The Mouse That Went Down the Hole by Cassie Malina and Steve Martin however, Ken Ramirez’s book on animal training was the most helpful to me for the test. Then I went through content outline in the certificate handbook and went back to refresh my memory in any areas I was unsure of.

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 2020

Spring Testing is April 18 – May 2, 2020 ... Application deadline March 10, 2020

Fall Testing is October 24 – November 7, 2020 ... Application deadline September 9, 2020


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

Our testing company, PTC has partnered with Prometric for Computer-Based Testing. Learn More here. With Prometrics there are no additional International Testing fees!!

Already certified? 

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 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!

Trainers Talk

Conditioning a Strong Target for Future Behaviours by Peter Giljam

ConditioningTargetThe target is one of the best tools a trainer could have in their toolbox. We use targeting, in many different ways, all the time. The most common one we see is the stick with a ball on the end, but a scale, platform or station is essentially a ’target’ as well. Often we add a variety of criteria to a target behaviour, some trainers want a nose or beak to touch the target, some trainers want the animal to hold on the target until the bridge is given. While others are conditioned to be a start or stop behaviour, but in the end a target behaviour is simply an animal orientating a particular body part to an object, the rest is up to you as the trainer to set the criteria.

Let’s talk about how a target is established.

Species Spotlight

Fallow Deer, Dama dama

FallowDeerFallow deer have had a natural range in southern European regions, Asia Minor, along the Mediterranean Sea, and possibly in northern Africa and Ethiopia. They have been widely introduced to 38 countries in North and South America, the Leeward Islands, Europe, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji Fallow deer live in a variety of climates ranging from cool-humid to warm-dry areas. The habitat they prefer usually is a combination of vegetation types. Two subspecies of fallow deer are distinguished: Dama dama dama (European fallow deer) and Dama dama mesopotamica (Persian fallow deer). The body mass of free-ranging adult averages 67 kg, and average mass of adult females is 44 kg. The forelegs of Dama dama are usually shorter than the hind legs; as a result, the line of the back is elevated posteriorly. Multi-point antlers, usually found only in males, also distinguish Dama dama from all other deer. The antlers are usually shed annually in April and the new ones are regrown and free of velvet by August, until the fifth or sixth year. Females are generally without antlers. Fallow deer have the most variable pelage coloration (white, menil, common, and black) of any species of deer. As a rule, there are visible white spots on the back and flank, less on the neck, and none on the head or legs. In general, the darker the coat, the less striking the spots. A black stripe runs dorsally along the nape of the neck to the tip of the tail. According to IUCN the Persian fallow deer is listed as endangered. As a result of intensive hunting throughout prehistory and history this species, which was once abundant and widespread in the near and Middle East, became comparatively rare throughout its range. Within the last 100 years it has twice been brought to the brink of extinction. The total wild population now contains more than 250 adults.

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.