Species Survival Plans at the AZA

A wildlife consultant and freelance animal trainer based in Los Angeles, California, Josh Ruffell works with leading Hollywood animal providers including Jules Sylvester’s Reptile Rentals Inc. Mr. Ruffell spent much of his career as a zoo curator in Australia, protecting the health and welfare of various bird and reptile species.

Over the years, many conservation organizations have developed plans to protect the welfare of animal species. One such organization, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), implemented its Species Survival Plan (SSP) program to manage animal populations at its member institutions.

Species Survival Plans represent cooperative management initiatives that ensure the longevity of animal species. Institutions with active SSP programs work together to increase genetic diversity and manage demographic distribution, which improves long-term survival chances for species with limited populations. Representatives at AZA monitor the genetic diversity of various populations, drafting Breeding and Transfer Plans when certain breeding pairs and transfers would benefit the population as a whole.

To learn more about Species Survival Plans at the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, visit the organization’s official website at www.aza.org.