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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

A&M breaks ground on 11,000-square-foot aviary

 
 

The Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences broke ground Friday on a new Exotic & Wild Bird Aviary that is scheduled for completion in May.
The 11,000-square-foot building will hold a hospital, a receiving area with quarantine capabilities, two isolation rooms, a Biosafety Level 2 laboratory for infectious disease research, teaching and classroom space and four offices.
The building will be located off of F and B road near the General Services Complex.
Second year veterinary medicine student Anastasia Koinis was asked to speak at the ground breaking ceremony.
“It’s going to bring a great facility for our vet students to learn on our in-house avian population as well as enhance the research being done, giving us a better facility and giving the birds a better environment to live in,” Koinis said.
The current aviary uses fans during the hot summer months to cool the birds while heaters try to keep up with the winter. The new facility will be climate-controlled and capable of holding a population of 200-250 birds.
“This is a beautiful facility that exemplifies the College’s commitment to exotic species and to conservation in general,” said Ian Tizard, Professor of Exotic Bird Health, in a statement. “It enhances our programs in environmental health and will be a magnificent resource for the whole college.”
The aviary will be able to separate infected and healthy birds, something the current facility cannot do.
Sharman M. Hoppes, clinical associate professor in the department of small animal clinical sciences, is a specialist in avian medicine and said the facility will also bring a new dimension to the teaching and understanding of avian diseases, husbandry
and conservation.
The enlarged facility will provide the space needed for specialized birds such as raptors so students can give appropriate care
and treatment.
“It’s going to be nice to have a place to learn more and be able to handle the bird in a better environment and enhance the learning process and learning capabilities we are going to get from all of this,” Koinis said.
The new building will expand on what the Schubot Exotic Bird Health Center started. Founded in 1987 thanks to an endowment by Richard M. Schubot, the center is already helping improve the health of birds kept by zoos, activulturists and individual pet owners. The center also helps to conserve threatened avian species in the wild.
The new facility will help glorify those numerous accomplishments, Hoppes said.
“Although the Schubot Exotic Bird Health Center is already known internationally in the avian world, many in our own university and community are unaware that we are here and what we have done or are doing in terms of both avian conservation and clinical diagnosis and treatment,” Hoppes said. “This new and improved aviary will increase our exposure and hopefully excite the community and encourage them to support our work in avian research and the care and management of our birds.”

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