Population Management Levels
The Regional Collection Plan (RCP) recommends a list of species that that should be cared for in AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums and defines the level at which those taxa should be managed. The Taxon Advisory Group (TAG) calculates the RCP management assessment criteria and integrates the results from their space analysis to develop population management level recommendations for each species under the TAG’s purview. Population management levels include:
Species Survival Plan® Program Populations
Species Survival Plan® (SSP) Program populations focus on species that require the highest conservation effort and level of management. SSPs are required to cooperatively manage the breeding of SSP Program species between AZA-accredited institutions to ensure a healthy and self-sustaining population that is both genetically diverse and demographically stable. The SSP Coordinator and Management Group participate in a variety of cooperative conservation activities including research, public education, reintroduction, and field projects. Learn more about SSP Programs.
Display, Education, and Research Populations
Display, education and research populations (DERPs) focus on species that are important for display so the public can gain personal connections, education so conservation issues can be illuminated, and/or research so scientists can learn more about the species and the factors needed for protection. These species do not require genetic or demographic management however TAGs may choose champions to track DERPs through registries.
Government Program Population
Government program populations focus on species that are managed by either state or federal programs (e.g. manatee).
Phase-out populations focus on species that are being phased out of AZA-accredited institutions through a breeding moratorium. These species do not require genetic or demographic management however TAGs may choose champions to track Phase-outs through registries.
Phase-in populations focus on species that are being introduced into AZA-accredited institutions. Once placed in AZA-accredited institutions, the species will be reassigned to another management level as appropriate.
Not recommended populations focus on species that are not currently cared for in AZA-accredited institutions and that the TAG does not recommend be phased in.