Balinda Strosnider, CPBT-KA and John Glitsos, CPBT-KA from Land On Sky Wildlife Experiences took a moment to share with us.
“John and I have both been volunteers at an animal rehabilitation center for many years.
We started off cleaning mews, rescuing injured raptors, and worked our way up to be two of the senior raptor educators. We presented literally hundreds of “bird on a glove” information-filled shows and really enjoyed our hobby.
By chance, we happened across a bird show at Bearizona Wildlife Park that knocked our socks off. We found out that the training method they used was operant conditioning, or more appropriately, choice-based training (see blog). We were mesmerized at how the animals did everything on cue without restraints. It was awe inspiring and uplifting to see the communication and relationship between the animal ambassadors and their trainers. We knew instantly that this was the direction we wanted to move.
We learned everything we could about this "new" (to us) method of training. When we heard about the certification, we doubted our ability to pass. There were only about 60 certifications at the time we looked into it, and we figured those must be “zoo people” who live and breathe animal training on a daily basis. But we were too competitive and too determined to let that stop us. We read papers, attended workshops, joined IAATE, and studied everything we could from the recommended reading list. It was a lot of work, but we both passed!
Getting the certification by no means made us overnight experts, but it was the foundation that helped build our credibility, confidence, and skills as trainers. This led us to acquire our own bird of prey and train him to wow audiences in free flight and start our own non-profit that will build on our dream to educate the public with free flight shows.
We encourage anyone who is interested in choice-based training methods (even if your organization isn’t onboard) to consider studying for certification. We look at certification as the beginning of our quest for knowledge. Within two years we have surpassed the CEU requirements to re-certify for another 5 years, and continue to look for additional opportunities to learn about our craft.”
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 email@example.com 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!
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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!
Karen Pryor’s 10 Laws of shaping are a great set of tools in any trainers tool box. Here Zoospensefull takes a look at them in review.
If you haven’t read “Don’t Shoot the Dog” from Karen Pryor you should! In her book on page 38 & 39 she explains the 10 laws of shaping. A great tool for the trainer to make progress with their learners. In this article I would like to add my thoughts on each point of view, reviewing them and their importance in your training….
Javelina or Collared Peccary (Tayassu tajacu) are medium-sized animals that look similar to a wild boar. Javelina are not pigs. They look similar, but pigs are from the "Old World" and peccary are "New World" animals. There are many other differences most having to do with differences in physical anatomy. They have mainly short coarse salt and pepper colored hair, short legs, and a pig-like nose. The hair around the neck/shoulder area is lighter in color giving it the look of a collar. Javelina have long, sharp canine teeth which protrude from the jaws about an inch. Javelina live in desert washes, saguaro and palo verde forests, oak woodlands, and grasslands with mixed shrubs and cacti. They can be found in the deserts of southwest Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, southward through Mexico and Central America and into northern Argentina. Javelina are classified as herbivores. They eat a variety of native plant foods such as agave, mesquite beans, and prickly pear, as well as roots, tubers, and other green vegetation. However, if the opportunity presents itself, they will also eat lizards, dead birds and rodents. The main predators of Javelina are mountain lions, humans, coyotes, bobcats and jaguars. In the heat of the day javelina will rest in the shade of a mesquite tree or under rocky outcroppings. They have been know to rest in the shade under mobile homes, causing damage to the structure as they push their way in. Javelina are listed as Least Concern by IUCN as this species is widely distributed and occurs in a variety of habitats, including woodlands, tropical dry and rainforests, savannas, Gran Chaco, and deserts, from the southern USA through to northern Argentina. However, given the continuing rates of habitat destruction and potential for over-hunting of this species, the status of all populations requires monitoring.
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.