Finch and Softbill Save - Official Program Guidelines
Definition and Purpose:
The National Finch and Softbill Society established the
FinchSave program in 1988. Although, thru the years, the program requirements have
changed, the definition and purpose of the program have not. The long-term goal
of the Finch and Softbill Save program is to establish a consortium of breeders
of finches and softbills dedicated to producing and maintaining a viable captive-bred
population of finches and softbills in the United States and Canada. The short-term
goal of the program is to establish consistent breeding success with participating
species in the United States and Canada.
Because in the past, the paperwork required to manage
the program was overwhelming for both the user and the administrators, the Finch
and Softbill Save program is investing time in the development of an online database
application that will allow users to enter their information electronically. Such
a system will allow users to review and update their own information at any timeand
will automate report generation and statistical analyses.
The system will include the following features:
Annual reporting routines will evaluate the data reported by participants
and tally the statistics provided for each species. Such analyses offer a snapshot
of the state of aviculture for each species and can lead to species profiles to
assist our breeding efforts.
- A studbook will maintain
the documented ancestral history of all birds in the program, providing pedigrees
and tools to help ensure genetic diversity.
- Breeders of rare species
can easily network to exchange bloodlines and expand flocks, without sacrificing
each participant's control over private information.
Because the system is still
under development, some of the roles and rules below may change as we progress.
We ask for your patience as the software is developed and the guidelines are amended
Participants must meet the following requirements in order
to participate in the Finch and Softbill Save program:
- Participants must be NFSS members in good standing.
- Participants must band all offspring with appropriate
sized bands. Closed banding is encouraged whenever possible, but open numbered bands
are acceptable at the breeder's discretion when closed banding is not possible or
- Participants must validate their data at a specified
yearly time to ensure all data in the system is up-to-date.
- There is no pair limit requirement.
Species Coordinator Roles:
The Finch and Softbill Save program incorporates the use
of Species Coordinators. Species Coordinators are responsible for helping recruit
participants working with their species groups and for helping build conversations
with breeders as well as for disseminating information gleaned from the program.
While the new online system will be able to help greatly
with some of these responsibilities, a species profile is more than a table full
of numbers that could easily be misunderstood. Instead, it is a collection of all
types of data and an interpretation of what that data might mean in the context
of US and Canadian aviculture. In that respect, a computer cannot compete with an
List of Finch and Softbill Save Excluded Birds:
The current list of excluded birds for the Finch and Softbill
Save Program as follows:
- The Lady Gouldian Finch
- The Society Finch
- The Zebra Finch
- Doves and Quail
- All Mutations that are not documented as being sustained
in the natural population.
While the FSS Program excludes mutations, it does not
discourage aviculturists from working with them. The goal of a conservation effort
is to preserve the species in captivity as it exists in the wild, and as such, data
regarding mutations do
not belong. While the goal of mutation breeding is different
from conservation breeding, this is not to say that the information gleaned is not
valuable in its own right. Aviculturists are encouraged to pursue their interests,
but keep the FSS database confined to wild-type birds.
In the past, FSS has operated as a multi-tier program.
This tiering system asked participants to chose between closed banding of all offspring
of a registered species and open banding of all such offspring. The current system
abandons this across the board choice. Aviculturists are encourage to decide for
themselves on a case-by-case basis whether closed banding of offspring is advisable.
FSS strongly encourages closed banding, but acknowledges that in some cases, this
may not be possible or advisable. When closed banding is not possible, birds must
be banded with a numbered open band for identification. This number must be unique
to your own birds, but may not be unique to the system.
The following are sources to purchase open split and closed
If members know of other sources that can be listed, please
contact the FSS Director.
There is no fee to participate in the Finch and Softbill
Save program. However, one must be an NFSS member in good standing. Failure to renew
your NFSS membership will result in your suspension from the Finch and Softbill
Save Program until you have renewed.
Annual Data Validation:
All FSS Participants will
be required to validate that their data is accurate and up-to-date once a year,
before annual reports are run. If you fail to validate your data, your data may
not be used in the analyses and you will not be able to access many system features
until you validate. Failure to validate your data for multiple annual reports may
be grounds for your removal from the program.
The whole premise behind the Finch and Softbill Save Program
is to establish captive-bred populations of bird species in the US and Canada. It
is through the information analyzed in the annual reports that we will be able to
put together Species Profiles on the birds registered in the program, be able to
track the population increase in registered species, and keep track of the diverse
bloodlines. The information about how you successfully bred your birds will be very
useful to others who are also trying to be successful. The benefits of the program
are free to NFSS members; we ask only that you ensure your information is current
when the reports are run.
The FSS Program takes into account participants' privacy
concerns. All participants will be able to control their privacy level. One can
choose to be completely anonymous - allowing the program to use your information
for analysis purposes only - or one may choose exactly what personal information
you would like to share. Those who want to share their information will the other
participants can choose to do so as well. A messaging service will also be provided
to allow participants to contact each other anonymously - one can then choose to
release personal information at their own discretion. Special programs, like that
for the Red Siskins, may require special documentation requiring certain information
be disclosed in reporting - please check with the species coordinator if you are
participating in a special program such as this.
What YOU can do to make the program more successful:
We encourage all FSS participants to recruit fellow hobbyists
to join the program. A flyer is available here for download:
Contribute. Contribute. Contribute. If you have time on
your hands and experience with any of the birds included in the program, apply for
a Species Coordinator position.
Keep your data up-to-date and validate it in time for
the annual report. Work closely with your Species Coordinator to provide him/her with
as much detail as possible on the birds you are working with. Taking the time to
be actively involved in the program is of benefit to us all.
TIP: Do not use the Browser's
Back button to navigate pages in the application. Using the Back button
may cause unsaved changes to a form to be lost and may return you to a location
in the program you did not intend. Always use the controls provided by the web page's
interface to move from one area of the program to another. Always save a form before
navigating away using the menu. Data is not saved until you click on the Save button.
DISCLAIMER: The data collected by Finch and Softbill Save is the
property of the NFSS and will be used to guide the Conservation effort. The NFSS
and its volunteers are not responsible for lost or stolen data. Participants should
keep their own copy of their breeding data (either by printing out relevant data
or by maintaining their own record system locally). The NFSS reserves the right
to shut down the program at any time.