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Wildlife Conservation and Management Committee

The Wildlife Conservation and Management Committee (WCMC) works collaboratively with other Committees and is responsible for facilitating the professional and scientific management of the animals cared for in AZA-accredited institutions. Committee members serve up to two three-year terms and consist of directors, VPs, curators, and registrars. The members bring to the table a variety of backgrounds and experiences from zoos and aquariums holding diverse collections of animals.

Charter

WCMC develops, oversees, promotes, evaluates, and supports the cooperative animal management, conservation, and scientific initiatives of the AZA. The committee is responsible for the formulation and communication of the various guidelines and protocols essential to Species Survival Plans® (SSPs), Taxon Advisory Groups (TAGs), Regional Collection Plans (RCPs), Studbooks, and Scientific Advisory Groups (SAGs). WCMC serves as a conflict mediation and reconciliation body for issues arising within these programs, when the parties directly involved cannot resolve their concerns. WCMC members also complete first-tier reviews of CEF proposals and work closely with numerous AZA Advisory Groups as research and process advisors.

Functions

The primary functions of the WCMC facilitate and support science-based animal management and conservation programs and ensure that the animals cared for in AZA-accredited institutions are managed scientifically and cooperatively with respect for and consideration of the welfare of each individual. This is accomplished through the consistent:

  • Monitoring and evaluation of the efficiency and effectiveness of AZA Animal Management Programs and Centers, and providing additional support to Program Leaders and Centers as needed.
  • Evaluating and ensuring AZA Program Leader and Institutional performance and participation.
  • Ensuring Animal Management Program effectiveness through accountability measures.
  • Generating policies/procedures as necessary.
  • Facilitating conflict resolution processes.
  • Providing professional oversight, guidance, and support for the Animal Management Programs.
  • Reviewing and approving required Animal Management Program outputs/documents including Regional Collection Plans (RCPs).
  • Maintaining direct communication and collaboration with the AZA Board and Staff.

Although much of the WCMC work is conducted via email, the Committee also meets twice annually, at the AZA mid-year working meeting and the AZA annual conference to hold multi-day closed sessions where RCPs are reviewed, policy and procedure issues are discussed and support documents are produced, as well as an open reporting session.

Advisory Roles

Each TAG is assigned one member of the WCMC who serves as a liaison for that TAG. WCMC Committee members typically serve as a liaison for 3 TAGs. They communicate with the TAG regularly and serve a crucial advisory role for any policy, procedure, or processes questions the TAG may have, and act as the primary contact and mentor during the TAG’s RCP developmental and review process.

Need more information?
If you are interested in becoming involved with or obtaining more information about the Wildlife Conservation and Management Committee please contact any of the Officers.