About Animal Programs

Animal Programs

AZA's Wildlife Conservation and Management Committee (WCMC) manages nearly 500 Animal Programs, including Taxon Advisory Groups (TAGs), Species Survival Plan® (SSP) Programs and Studbook Programs. These Animal Programs, in coordination with significant contributions from AZA Scientific Advisory Groups (SAGs), Institutional Liaisons (ILs) and Institutional Representatives (IRs) are responsible for the extraordinary leadership, development, oversight, promotion, evaluation and support of AZA's cooperative animal management, conservation, and scientific initiatives. Management tools, databases, reference materials, policies, and breeding and transfer plans have been developed to facilitate exceptional Animal Program collaboration within and amongst AZA-accredited institutions.

Taxon Advisory Groups

An AZA Taxon Advisory Group (TAG) examines the conservation needs of an entire taxa and develops recommendations for population management and conservation based upon the needs of the species and those of AZA-accredited institutions. TAGs develop an action plan that identifies essential goals, scientific investigations, and conservation initiatives needed to best serve ex situ and in situ populations and a Regional Collection Plan that specifies the optimal manner in which the ex situ populations should be managed.

Species Survival Plan® Programs

An AZA Species Survival Plan® (SSP) Program strives to manage and conserve a select and typically threatened or endangered, ex situ species population with the cooperation of AZA-accredited institutions. SSP Programs develop a Breeding and Transfer Plan that identifies population management goals and recommendations to ensure the sustainability of a healthy, genetically diverse, and demographically varied population.

AZA Regional Studbooks

An AZA Regional Studbook dynamically documents the pedigree and entire demographic history of each individual in a population of species. Studbooks are invaluable tools that track and manage each individual cared for in AZA-accredited institutions.

Scientific Advisory Groups

An AZA Scientific Advisory Group (SAG) enhances ex situ animal care and management strategies and augments regional and international in situ conservation initiatives by persistently expanding their scientific reach and initiatives. SAGs have made, and continue to make, significant contributions to the long-term conservation of global biodiversity.

Dedicated Funds

AZA Animal Programs are eligible to manage fiscal resources to support their program objectives. An AZA Dedicated Funds account is designed to hold and distribute monies raised specifically to support projects initiated or coordinated by an AZA Animal Program.

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