Tim Van Loan, CPAT- KA and CPBT- KA took a few moments to share with us.
“The ABQ BioPark is a 2 mile long facility on the Rio Grande river that incorporates a zoo, open space outdoor recreation area, an aquarium, botanic garden, heritage farm, and bugarium. Seeing as our living collection spans a vast array of organisms, getting IATCB certified as both a CPAT-KA & CPBT-KA has solidified our training program BioPark wide. From jellyfish to naked mole rats to spotted hyena, we are incorporating the science of behavior change holistically across the collection to enhance the welfare care of all animals. Getting certified was an important step for me to grow in my learning and application of operant conditioning, but wasn’t something that was widely recognized at my facility. Through studying for both exams, I solidified my ability to apply the science of behavior change to everything we do. The material is about more than just rote memorization, it helps you put the knowledge into action in real world situations. In being able to do so, it helped demonstrate the importance of the certification to my coworkers and leaders, and is now something others are considering!
No matter your background, I would encourage anyone with an interest in “walking the walk” when it comes to animal training to take the appropriate certification exam. You will learn a lot, cement your foundational information, and be more confident in your abilities and understandings because of it. I admittedly put the exam off for several cycles because of nervousness, but putting the effort in has made it so worth it! Especially to put the knowledge into practice and literally see the benefits in an animal participating in their own health care or demonstrating species appropriate behaviors, it’s why we do what we do!”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
2021 Testing Dates
March 17, 2021
April 17 – May 1, 2021
September 15, 2021
October 16 – October 30, 2021
*Applications will not be accepted after 11:59pm Eastern on this date
Our testing company, PTC has partnered with Prometric for Computer-Based Testing. Learn More here. With Prometrics there are no additional International Testing fees!!
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 here to check out a list of approved CEUs!
Natural Encounters has some wonderful resources on their webpage! Here is a neat read on Macaws:
What’s Inside Counts: An Exploration of Methods and Limitations with Internal Telemetry in Free-Flighted Macaws by Amy Fennell, CPBT-KA.
Radio telemetry has been used since the 1960s to study and track wildlife, and the modern use of telemetry equipment as a safety device has become common in falconry and when free-flying a variety of birds for educational and entertainment purposes. While various methods exist for successfully attaching telemetry to many species, Natural Encounters, Inc, (“NEI”) began to search for a safe method of using telemetry tracking with free-flying macaws during the development of their “Winged Encounters” experience. The use of telemetry on parrots—particularly on free-flying macaws—is challenging for a number of reasons, not the least of which involves the tenacity of the individual in regard to removing any externally-fixated object. NEI investigated and tested available tail mounts, backpacks, neck mounts, and leg mounts, but all were found to be inadequate to the needs of both animal and trainer….. Read More
Great Green Macaw, Ara ambiguous
The Great Green Macaw is one of the largest macaws in the world. It is also known as the Buffon's or Great Military Macaw and in fact was previously considered a subspecies of the smaller, closely-related Military Macaw. Numbers of this majestic macaw have dropped by more than 50 percent over the past 10 years due to extensive habitat loss throughout the species' Central and South American range. Like other parrot species, Great Green Macaws are highly sociable. Family groups of five to six birds occupy small home ranges, where they nest in tree cavities. Outside of the breeding season, they forage and roost in groups of up to 50 individuals and may travel long distances in search of food. Great Green Macaws feed on seeds, fruits, hard-shelled nuts, and flowers, and they make seasonal movements throughout their ranges in response to the presence of fruiting trees. They are particularly associated with the mountain almond, or almendro tree, which provides food and nest sites for the bird across much of its range. IUCN qualifies this species as Endangered because extensive habitat destruction and capture for the cagebird trade are suspected to have caused very rapid and continuing population declines. These threats have had such a significant impact that it is very rare in four out of six range states, and the total population is now suspected to be small.
The International Avian Trainers Certification Board and the International Animal Trainers CertificationBoard, 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.