The continued success of AZA's cooperative Animal Programs requires persistent scientific research to enhance ex situ animal care and management strategies and to augment regional and international in situ conservation initiatives. AZA's Scientific Advisory Groups (SAGs) represent the commitment of AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums, Certified Related Facilities, and approved Sustainability Partners to expanding their scientific programs, collaborating with the greater academic and science communities, increasing the use of science in the management and care of their animal populations, and collectively contributing to the long-term conservation of global biodiversity.
Each SAG is managed by a by its corresponding Committee and is in turn responsible for advising AZA, its Animal Programs, Committees, and AZA-accredited institutions.
SAGs are administered by a Steering Committee composed of Officers and specialized expert advisors including veterinarians, scientists, curators, professors, government, and others. SAG primary functions include:
- Providing expert advice to the AZA Board, Animal Population Management Committee, Animal Programs, Conservation Department, and other Committees regarding technical and science related topics.
- Outlining research priorities.
- Coordinating collaborative studies, especially those that involve several AZA-accredited institutions.
- Serving as consultants at species or habitat conservation focused meetings.
- Providing a network for zoo biologists and collaborating university scientists to focus on projects of interest to the zoo and aquarium community.
- Reviewing/submitting grant proposals.
- Developing cooperative relationships with appropriate scientific societies and other expert collaborators.