The Sparsholt College Animal Management Centre (AMC) provides a specialist practical resource for students enrolled on our animal management, veterinary nursing, and conservation programmes. It occupies a total area of 33,313m2 and houses over 1,000 animals of around 125 species, many of which are managed as part of collaborative breeding programmes in conjunction with a number of industry partners (for example, BIAZA and EAZA). The AMC is a fully licensed zoo and prepares students for work in a highly competitive industry sector by providing a realistic industry environment and working closely with industry partners on a range of projects. The conservation research programme has kickstarted a number of high-profile research projects using carefully selected ‘target species’ that allow our students to understand (and contribute towards) key aspects of conservation breeding and research. Current plans will see the centre grow to support both the needs of students and the college’s commitment to industry.The ultimate aim for the conservation research programme is to have a range of target species from all key taxa held at the AMC, with each initiative linked to an in-situ field programme to support the ex-situ work. The AMC allows students to contextualize their studies and conduct meaningful research to promote positive welfare changes and advances in the understanding of husbandry. Captive husbandry forms an essential component of conservation efforts for many species. Three recent examples are: • Determining optimal husbandry parameters for turquoise dwarf geckos; • Developing a better understanding of larval growth rates in endangered salamanders; and • Improving understanding of the behaviour and husbandry of Madagascan tenrecs.


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