Studbook dynamically documents the pedigree and entire demographic history of
each individual in a population of species. These collective histories are known
as the population's genetic and demographic identity and are invaluable tools
that track and manage each individual cared for in AZA-Accredited Zoos and Aquariums, Certified Related Facilities and by Sustainability Partners as part of a single ex situ population.
There are currently over 30 International Studbooks that AZA Studbook Keepers
are responsible for keeping and coordinating with the World Association of Zoos
and Aquariums (WAZA) as well as over 450 AZA Regional Studbooks.
Each AZA Studbook is managed by its corresponding Animal Program, and is in turn, responsible for
maintaining excellent communication with Program Leaders and Institutional Representatives (IRs).
AZA members can search the Animal
Program Database for contact information and download Studbooks and other
Each Studbook is
maintained by a Studbook Keeper, appointed by its corresponding TAG or SSP. 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
- The development of a bibliography of relevant
- Monitoring and documenting all ex situ births,
death, and transfer information.
- Maintaining an accurate database that
allows detailed genetic and demographic analyses.
breeding decisions to enhance genetic diversity.
- Assessing the
population status (e.g. stable, increasing, or decreasing).
Studbook Keepers may serve as the SSP
Coordinator for SSP Program species, but this is not a requirement. Individuals
interested in becoming a Studbook Keeper must be a current AZA member, be
employed by and receive support from an AZA-accredited zoo or aquarium,
Certified Related Facilities, or by an Approved Non-Member participant, and must
complete the Population
Management 1 Professional Training course within two years of appointment.
New Studbook Keepers will work closely with their corresponding SSP
Coordinator or TAG to become accustomed to their responsibilities. Becoming a
Studbook Keeper is an excellent opportunity to gain a vast amount of knowledge
about a particular species, develop professional relationships with Program
Leaders from each AZA-accredited institution, and become familiar with the
management structure of TAGs and the Wildlife Conservation and Management Committee (WCMC).
Interested in Becoming a Studbook Keeper?
Search the Animal Program
Database to find out which Animal Programs have vacancies. The Animal Program Handbooks include
a description of the scope of responsibilities and include an application.