​‪One global, real-time, accurate Zoological Information Management System. Enhancing local care, protecting population health and supporting international conservation efforts.‬

See outline of ZIMS features...

To develop, deploy and maintain a comprehensive information system that supports a wide range of animal management and conservation activities associated with zoological institutions (aquariums and zoos) and the zoological community. ​​
Go to ZIMS application

Learn about the design of ZIMS


The ZIMS application was first imagined in the year 2000 as a real-time Web-based institutional and pooled animal and veterinary knowledgebase. Hundreds of zoo and aquarium professionals contributed ideas for the design of the ZIMS software.
The ZIMS application represents a quantum leap forward in information management for our almost 1,000 member institutions in more almost 90 countries. The ZIMS database is a unified, global repository of knowledge on animal health and well-being  a unified, global repository of knowledge on animal health and well-being the first such database in the world. ZIMS provides a resource of pooled, uniform, consistent and comprehensive information to more than 20,000 zoological professional worldwide each day.
Zoological professionals use the ZIMS application to track pertinent information needed by their animal-care staff, including collection management, husbandry, and health and disease history to further enhance local care and international conservation efforts. Our members enter their data directly into the ZIMS database. Any member (and others with permission) are able to search the database and retrieve information they need (with appropriate security protections) for a myriad of purposes.
The ZIMS database currently contains records on  animals ( currently living) representing  species. A member begin to expand their use of electronic records through the ZIMS application, this knowledgebase will expand greatly, and will inspire new uses for this information. 
"With ZIMS, we will be able to exchange core data of an animal, and also all kinds of information about husbandry, veterinary care, behavior in a way that is very easy and less time-consuming than now. And all the data we find will be current. This will make life so much easier! Instead of writing e-mails and phoning colleagues we can search for this kind of information in ZIMS."
Dr. Ulrike Rademacher
Wilhelma Zoological and Botanical Gardens
Stuttgart, Germany

ZIMS development updates  


Many subject matter experts (SME) and ZIMS early adopter institutions have helped and advised us in building the ZIMS application. These institutions -- and many more, who have been using ZIMS through these early stages, have been vital in helping us assure that the ZIMS application will meet the needs of our members. 
As funding allows, we will continue ZIMS development. 
ZIMS Release Notes


See complete notes of each release...

We do not plan to provide link to data from outside the ZIMS application (October 2012)
We have now completed the initial releases of the Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS) application. It is important for our community to understand that, at the advice of the our Board of Trustees, our future development plans will not include a pathway for data from applications outside of the ZIMS environment to be brought into the ZIMS database.
As these applications were developed for use by a limited number of institutions, they do not include either the multi-institution business rules nor our member-driven standards that are included in the core of the ZIMS application. Our community has spent countless hours and resources to assure that these principles are upheld in the ZIMS application, and we feel we must protect the integrity of these features in all future development.
ZIMS For Medical
launched in April of 2014, fast becoming the global standard

Replacing and enhancing the functionality in MedARKS as well as bringing a new standard of globally shared veterinarian medical data to our members in almost 90 countries.
Learn more about ZIMS Release 2 (ZIMS For Medical)...
access to the
ZIMS application

for all members!

Through Eye on ZIMS, you can access the ZIMS application to:

  • View animals at your institution
  • Run taxon reports for the animals in your institution
  • Run specimen reports for animals in the ZIMS database
  • Look up our member institutions
  • Access the ZIMS Species Holdings tool – and the entire global database

We created Eye on ZIMS to give you access to the ZIMS application –- and a truly global database, which includes the information from all our members –- whether they are using ARKS or ZIMS as their animal records-keeping system.
ZIMS administrators can access Eye on ZIMS at zims.isis.org using your ZIMS login. If you would like other members of your institution to have this access, contact support@isis.org and we can create logins for them.   

ZIMS project timeline  


April 2010:
The first ZIMS early adopter institutions began installing, testing and using ZIMS Release 1 in their facilities.
Learn about the current ZIMS users...

April 2012:
Our members began using the next major release of the ZIMS application. 
Learn more about the redesigned ZIMS...
April 2014:
ZIMS For Medical
: ZIMS for Veterinary Medicine, which covers key functionality present in our legacy software MedARKS. 
Future release plans:
ZIMS Release 3: Studbooks, already delivered in Release 1.6 is the Population Overview report and the standard ZIMS Pedigree explorer as  and Release 2.0 (TAG Data Export) and Studbook Keeper News. 
Learn more about ZIMS population management tools...