All members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums community have made a commitment to the care and welfare of animals. Part of this commitment is striving to maintain sustainable populations among our facilities. Without animals in our care, we would not be able to achieve our missions of engaging or educating the public, contributing to research and conservation, or making advances in the field of animal care and welfare.
As the Animal Population Management (APM) Committee is working diligently to develop a new cooperative population management system among the Association, we would like to share several actions directors can take to increase their facility’s impact in building sustainable populations of animals for the future of our zoos and aquariums.
Part 1 of this two-part series offers suggestions for increased opportunity for professional development and institutional collaboration to help improve sustainability of animal populations. These are direct actions that you can take now to pursue this common goal and keep each other accountable.
Dr. David Powell is the director of research at the Saint Louis Zoo; the director of the AZA Reproductive Management Center; and vice chair of the AZA Animal Population Management Committee.