The mission of an AZA Taxon Advisory Group (TAG) is to examine
the conservation needs of an entire taxa, and to develop recommendations for
population management and conservation based upon the needs of the species and
AZA-accredited Zoos and Aquariums, Certified Related Facilities, and Sustainability Partners. TAGs are responsible for developing an action plan
that identifies essential goals, scientific investigations, and conservation
initiatives needed to best serve ex situ and in situ
Each TAG is also responsible for developing a Regional Collection Plan (RCP) that
specifies the optimal manner in which the ex situ populations should be
managed. AZA Members can search for and download Regional Collection Plans in
TAGs are managed by the Wildlife Conservation and Management Committee which is
responsible for communicating with Program Leaders and Institutional Representatives and
also for managing the Studbooks and
Survival Plan® (SSP) Programs under their purview.
Each TAG is composed of a Steering Committee, elected from AZA members, and
several expert Advisors. All TAG functional and management processes are
specified in the Taxon
Advisory Group Handbook, however primary functions include:
development of an Action Plan.
- The development of a RCP.
- Serving as an AZA expert and providing a discussion forum for topics
applicable to the taxa under its purview.
- Assisting in the selection
of appropriate species for AZA Conservation and Education Programs.
- Establishing management, research, and conservation priorities.
- Advancement of animal management techniques based on scientific studies.
- Oversight of SSP and Studbook Programs.
- Serving a specific
role in conflict resolution issues that arise.
- The development of a
- If the TAG has an AZA Dedicated Funds account, they are eligible to
participate in the TAGMart at the AZA Annual Conference.
A TAG Action Plan identifies high priority areas of research and
conservation needed for the species identified under its purview including
animal health, contraception, genetics, genome resource banking, in
situ and ex situ conservation, nutrition, assisted reproduction,
education, and any other relevant topics, sets goals and objectives to address
these priorities, and a schedule of completion for each.
A TAG RCP identifies a list of species recommended for
management in AZA-accredited institutions, the level at which each should be
managed, detailed explanations for how those recommendations were developed, and
an evaluation of how much space is needed for each species at each institution.
The TAG collaborates with Program Leaders from each AZA-accredited institution
to ensure that AZA’s, each institution’s and the Action Plan’s animal management
and conservation goals are accomplished.
Interested in Becoming an TAG
Visit AZA’s Animal
Program Database to find out which Animal Programs have positions available
and how to apply!