Small Population Management Scientific Advisory Group

The mission of the Small Population Management Advisory Group (SPMAG) is to promote best-practice applications of population biology to the management of all populations impacted by AZA’s membership, including those in AZA’s Animal Programs and SAFE programs, as well as member animal collections and conservation programs, both ex-situ and in-situ. SPMAG advises and serves the AZA community by providing strategic scientific advice to its members, communicating advances in population biology, conducting research, and fostering effective collaborations with the global population biology community to positively impact animal populations of interest to AZA’s members.

SPMAG advises the AZA Animal Population Management (APM) Committee, the Conservation, Management, & Welfare Sciences Department; Animal Program and SAFE Program Leaders; and all interested AZA organizations on issues related to population management. This scientific advisory group is overseen by the APM Committee.


SPMAG is administered by a Steering Committee composed of three Officers (Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary), all of whom are elected from the general SPMAG membership. The primary functions of SPMAG are to:

  • Advise relevant AZA stakeholders on the application of population biology to the management of small populations. This includes providing strategic and scientific advice to the Animal Population Management (APM) Committee, AZA cooperative breeding programs, AZA SAFE programs, other AZA committees or groups, and to member institutions and TAGs on collection planning, program design, and conservation initiatives related to managed populations.    
  • Share and Communicate news and advances in population biology, which includes a range of multi-disciplinary sciences, with AZA’s population biology practitioners and community stakeholders.
  • Conduct or advise on applied research in population biology, when solicited by the AZA community, that benefits AZA’s Animal Programs and conservation initiatives, and foster relevant research by individual members. 
  • Connect AZA stakeholders to the broader population biology community to ensure application of best practices and promote effective collaborations.
  • Collaborate with the global population biology community of practice to share management approaches, scientific advances, and tools.

Interested in Becoming a SPMAG Member?
If you are interested in becoming involved with or obtaining more information about SPMAG, please contact Dr. Gina Ferrie, Chair.

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