ISIS -- the International Species Information System -- was founded in 1974 when Drs. Ulysses Seal and Dale Makey proposed the idea of an international database to help zoos and aquariums accomplish long-term conservation management goals. At that time, about 50 zoos in North America and Europe responded to the invitation to participate in this network.
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians (AAZV) and other zoological associations provided grants and endorsements for ISIS. In addition, the doctors raised development funding from private foundations and the United States Department of Interior. The Minnesota Zoological Garden hosted the program for 15 years.
Today, ISIS provides world-standard zoological data collection and sharing software to more than 800 member zoos, aquariums and related organizations in almost 80 countries. The ISIS global database for the zoological community contains information on 2.6 million animals -- 10,000 species -- and is constantly growing.
ISIS members use this information to:
- manage their inventory
- control the genetic and demographic makeup of their animal collections
- find appropriate unrelated new animals
- identify institutions seeking animals
- discover facilities with experience in breeding and raising certain offspring
- create reports for governments and other official accrediting bodies
These are only a few of the business-critical tasks that ISIS software delivers to members.