The purpose of an Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Regional Studbook is to document the pedigree and entire demographic history of each animal within a managed population among AZA member institutions (AZA-accredited institutions, Conservation Partners, and Certified Related Facilities (CRFs). These collective histories, compiled and maintained by an AZA Regional Studbook Keeper, are known as the population's genetic and demographic identity and are valuable tools to track and manage each individual as part of a single ex situ population.

These data should be validated and further analyzed to summarize the current demographic and genetic status of the population by the Population Management Center (PMC), a PMC Adjunct Advisor, or an Approved Small Population Management Advisory Group (SPMAG) Advisor, to create a Breeding and Transfer Plan.

AZA members can search the Animal Program Database to download Studbooks and other Program information.


Each Studbook is maintained by a Studbook Keeper, appointed by its corresponding TAG or SSP. All AZA Regional Studbook Keepers work directly with the associated TAG, all AZA institutions, participating non-AZA institutions, the Wildlife Conservation and Management Committee (WCMC), and the AZA Conservation & Science Department. All Studbook functional and management processes are specified in the Studbook Keeper Handbook, however primary functions include:

  • The creation/maintenance of a current Studbook developed in coordination with the Population Management Center (PMC).
  • Presenting general biology and species ecology data.
  • Presenting status and distribution information about the in situ populations.
  • The development of a bibliography of relevant publications.
  • Monitoring and documenting all ex situ births, death, and transfer information.
  • Maintaining an accurate database that allows detailed genetic and demographic analyses.
  • Recommending breeding decisions to enhance genetic diversity.
  • Assessing the population status (stable, increasing, or decreasing).

Interested in Becoming a Studbook Keeper?

Visit AZA's Animal Program Database to find out which Animal Programs have positions available and how to apply!

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