Animal Care & Management

AZA is dedicated to maintaining standards of excellence in all aspects of animal care and management. Accreditation Standards and Board Approved Policies have been established to facilitate this objective and often evolve to meet increasingly rigorous criteria. A plethora of information, presented in the form of manuals, recommended procedures, guidelines, etc., have been developed to enhance animal health, husbandry, and welfare practices.

Animal Management

Animal Programs

Maintaining healthy, genetically diverse populations requires strategic management and planning for the individual animals within the breeding population so that visitors can continue to gain a personal appreciation for the species in the care of AZA-accredited institutions for generations to come. Animal Programs include Taxon Advisory Groups, Species Survival Plan® (SSP) Programs, and North American Regional Studbooks, all of which facilitate management for each species that is carefully maintained and bred, while Scientific Advisory Groups and Conservation Action Plans focus on research and conservation initiatives for these species. 

Read more about how AZA cooperatively manages animal populations.

Animal Program Resources are available and include various population management materials.

Collection Planning for SSP Population Sustainability

The sustainability of AZA's cooperatively managed Animal Programs is a high priority of the Association and requires collaboration among Animal Program Leaders, institution staff, and other partners. The AZA community has developed a variety of tools and resources to facilitate SSP management. Institutional collection planning decisions play an important role in population management; variables such as avilable space, institutional resources, and staff expertise are all affected by management. To faciliate strategic and impactful collection planning, AZA has developed the SSP Sustainability Report Search Portal, a search engine that uses exhibit or facility criteria from planners.

Find more information on SSP Population Sustainability and tools to support Animal Programs.

Animal Care

The health, husbandry, and welfare of animals cared for in AZA-accredited institutions is paramount.  Animal Care Manuals are valuable resources for conducting excellent animal husbandry procedures and ensuring outstanding animal health and welfare.

Find all published Animal Care Manuals and information on the review and publication processes. 


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