• aviculture;
  • bustard;
  • captive-breeding;
  • computer;
  • database;
  • management;
  • research

A user-friendly database, captive, was developed to store and manipulate veterinary and aviculture records for the bustard captive-breeding programme at the National Avian Research Center, Abu Dhabi. The system was based on access version 2.0 (Microsoft Corporation) which is a comparatively inexpensive commercial database program, for use on microcomputers. captive was designed as a management tool, producing standard aviculture and veterinary reports from a scheduled input of data, and as a versatile research tool to answer ad hoc enquiries about the data. Paper forms were designed to allow aviculture and veterinary personnel to record the data, and non-technical staff to input the information into the computer program. Standard reports were designed so that staff who are unfamiliar with the database program can retrieve a menu of routine records. An additional series of ‘attached’ databases were linked to the main database, allowing personnel who are more familiar with the program to retrieve and manipulate complex data sets. The advantages and disadvantages of customizing a system in-house are discussed.