Population Management II: Data Analysis and Breeding Recs

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PMII Warthog

Next Offered: 
Fall 2016 

Please note, payment is now due at the time of registration. Please do not submit a registration form without payment, as it will not be processed.

To pay by check or purchase order:
Download the PMII COURSE REGISTRATION FORM and return by mail with check or purchase order

To pay by credit card:
You can now register and pay online with a credit card! Just log in to our new website. Non-members can log in too after creating an account. After logging in, choose "Upcoming Events" from the menu on the left. Next, click on the title of the event for which you would like to register. Finally, choose "Event Registration" from the options at the top and complete the registration process. When registering online, there is no need to submit the registration form.

Early bird registration deadline: 12 weeks prior to course start date
Final Registration deadline: 4 weeks prior to course start date


Course Description

Population Management II: Data Analysis and Breeding Recommendations teaches the integration of demography, genetics and husbandry to set population goals and make breeding recommendations for zoo and aquarium populations. This course produces competent managers for zoo or aquarium populations.

Tuition & Expenses

Early Bird Rates:
$1000 for AZA Individual Members
1100 for Non-members
Regular Rates:
$1100 for AZA Individual Members 
$1200 for Non-members   

Early bird registration deadline: 12 weeks prior to course start date
Final Registration deadline: 4 weeks prior to course start date

Please note, these rates are higher than past offerings of this course because they include course registration, as well as breakfasts, lunches, break service, and two dinners during the course. For courses hosted at Oglebay Resort in Wheeling, this cost is included in the lodging fee instead. The hotel rate in St. Louis will be $99 plus taxes per room per night, with no surcharge for double occupancy. The overall resulting cost to participants will be similar compared to past offerings.

Scholarship funding is available through a competitive process.

Optional Fees:

$20 for Continuing Education Units (CEUs) - this option is available to anyone
$1,000 for graduate credit as a student in George Mason University's Zoo & Aquarium Leadership program

Target Audience

This course is designed for current and prospective Species Survival Plan® (SSP) coordinators and Population Management Plan managers that desire to understand the biology and process behind making breeding recommendations. Priority is given to current SSP and PMP managers and AZA members.  International applicants and those not affiliated with an AZA accredited institution will be considered on a case-by-case basis;  please submit a letter describing your intended benefit from taking this course.


Population Management I or Studbook I. Applicants must submit an institutional letter of support, written by a supervisor or director.  The letter must include: the studbook(s) which the applicant keeps or has applied to keep; an expression of institutional support for keeping the studbook(s) and the date of when Population Management I or Studbook I was completed.

Course Registration

Checks sent for course payment will be cashed immediately upon receipt as per standard business practices.  Cashing your check does not indicate that you have been accepted into a course. You will receive an acceptance email or waitlist email once acceptance decisions are made.

Travel and Accommodations

Lambert Saint Louis International Airport (STL) is the closest airport. Shared shuttle service between the airport and the hotel is available through GO BEST Express

Course participants stay at Ramada Plaza Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri and classes meet on-site.

Please wait until you are admitted into the course before making your reservations. You will receive an email containing detailed information regarding your accommodations and transportation once you are admitted.

Topics & Instructors

  • Why Manage Captive Populations?
    This topic focuses on the importance of population management for the modern zoological facility and their partner institutions. The thesis presented is that population management is a part of responsible animal management, regardless of its implications for conservation. Without good management we will have less viable populations in the future.
  • SSPs , PMPs and DERPs
    Presentations introduce students to the differences and similarities of the AZA Species Survival Plan (SSP), Population Management Plan (PMP) and Display/Education/Research Program (DERP). Examples of successful SSP, PMP and DERP programs are presented as models and to show how Species Survival Plans can truly become holistic conservation efforts.
  • Creation of an Analytical Database
    This section helps students understand the steps that must be completed to transform a "good" studbook into a database that can be analyzed properly. For example, students learn general guidelines for making assumptions on animals of unknown or questionable ancestry. Should they be included in the management plan or not? What should be done with animals of partially known ancestry? Various methods to subset the database and select only the animals under program management are presented. This provides a specifically defined population for which a management plan can be completed and recommendations made.
  • Demography
    This section provides students with an understanding of demographic analysis using tools such as the age pyramid, growth rate, and life table to better manage the size of a captive population. Each topic is illustrated using examples from the zoo field. Students learn to run the demographic software on their studbooks and how to interpret the results.
  • Genetics
    This section provides students with a quick review of basic genetics and then focuses on the tenets of population genetics. The different types of genetic variation are discussed as well as strategies for maintaining them in a captive population. Students learn to run the genetic software on their studbooks and how to interpret the results.
  • Husbandry
    Topics have been selected to instill in students a basic understanding of how biological attributes of a species and husbandry practices affect population management. A discussion of using surveys to answer husbandry questions that affect management is included. Examples of how husbandry issues and concerns effect Master Plan recommendations will be presented.
  • Setting Population Goals
    Based on the demographic and genetic analysis and the species biology and husbandry, students learn to set realistic population goals. Goals include setting an appropriate population size, length of program, and amount of genetic variation to preserve.
  • Management Plan Development
    Once students have learned how to retrieve the demographic, genetic and husbandry pieces and set population goals, they learn to create an effective management plan complete with animal-by-animal breeding recommendations. During the course students complete two management plans as a class, one with a small group, and one with a partner. This repetition helps instill the basic analytic steps of management plan preparation as well as showing how different species have vastly different factors impinging on their management plans.

Jamie Ivy, Ph.D., Population Biologist - San Diego Zoo
Katelyn Marti, Associate Population Biologist - Population Management Center, Lincoln Park Zoo
Andrea Putnam, Ph.D., Population Biologist - San Diego Zoo
Sarah Long, Director - Population Management Center, Lincoln Park Zoo
Sara Sullivan, Associate Population Biologist - Population Management Center, Lincoln Park Zoo


For additional details please contact the AZA Professional Training Department or call (301) 562-0777 x251