"Having WelfareTrak® available prompted discussions that we may not have had… A lot of the things WelfareTrak® asks about aren’t logged daily or aren’t discernable from the logs. If I could pull up both, I would choose to look at WelfareTrak®."

Associate Curator

32 yrs experience

Request a Demo


Are you an animal care professional who is interested in experiencing WelfareTrak®? Click here to request free access to the WelfareTrak® Demo Site. Our Demo Site will allow you to complete welfare surveys and view welfare reports!

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Who Can Benefit from WelfareTrak®?


WelfareTrak® is designed for animal care professionals looking to monitor the welfare of individual animals over time. While WelfareTrak® was developed by welfare scientists from the Chicago Zoological Society’s Center for the Science of Animal Welfare, WelfareTrak® can be used by other types of animal care facilities, such as conservation centers, wildlife sanctuaries and shelters.
 
WelfareTrak® is for internal use ONLY. The caretakers for a particular species, at a particular institution, can use this management tool to monitor the welfare of individual animals over time. WelfareTrak® is not designed to compare individuals across – or even within – institutions. Therefore, the information that you enter about the animals under your care will not be shared with others.

How Can My Workgroup Use WelfareTrak® to Monitor Individual Animals?


WelfareTrak® gives caretakers the opportunity to complete brief, online welfare surveys for individual animals on a weekly basis. Caretakers also can document Special Events that may impact welfare scores. The system then generates reports that graph the caretakers’ scores and “flag” potential shifts in welfare status. Welfare reports can be viewed by a particular species’ workgroup AT a particular institution. 
 
Our recommendations for creating a WelfareTrak workgroup are based on the feedback collected during a 1-year period of testing at 5 zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. These are the tips provided by the animal care professionals who tested WelfareTrak®:
 
  • Each species, at each institution, should be represented by its own workgroup. 
  • Each workgroup should be led by a Coordinator - typically an animal care manager – who will then choose 3-5 experienced caretakers to be Raters. 
  • Raters are responsible for completing welfare surveys on a weekly basis. Raters also have the ability to log into WelfareTrak® throughout the week to document Special Events (e.g. a change in housing, weather) that may impact welfare scores. 
  • Workgroups should include the Coordinator, Raters and other caretakers who work with the species. Some workgroups also may include other staff members who are familiar with the species being monitored (e.g. veterinarians, researchers and trainers). 
  • During workgroup meetings, members should review the welfare reports generated by the WelfareTrak system. It is best to view the reports electronically, but it is also possible to print reports.
 
The WelfareTrak® system generates two types of reports for individual animals:
  1. Trend Reports are graphs that clearly display patterns of scoring over time. Trend Reports include separate graphs for each welfare indicator (each Rater is represented by a unique color). You can hover over dips and peaks to view Special Events associated with particular weeks!
  2. Individual Well-Being Reports include separate tables for each welfare indicator and “flag” shifts in scores using symbols and banners. Green symbols and banners indicate a positive change OR scores moving in the “right” direction. Red symbols and banners indicate a negative change OR scores moving in the “wrong” direction. You can hover over symbols and banners to view Special Events associated with particular weeks!             
Click here to Get Started with WelfareTrak®