What is an ssp?
The mission of an AZA Species Survival Plan® (SSP) Program is to cooperatively manage specific, and typically threatened or endangered, species population within AZA-accredited Zoos and Aquariums, Certified Related Facilities, and approved Non-Member Participants.
There are currently more than 300 SSP Programs, each managed by their corresponding Taxon Advisory Groups (TAGs), within AZA. Each is responsible for developing a comprehensive population Studbook and a Breeding and Transfer Plan which identifies population management goals and recommendations to ensure the sustainability of a healthy, genetically diverse, and demographically varied AZA population.
Many of these SSP Programs represent species that urgently need to be conserved and protected in the wild, such as the giant panda, California condor, and lowland gorilla. SSP Programs, as well as AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums, significantly contribute to field conservation efforts, species recovery, veterinary care for wildlife disease issues, establishment of assurance populations, as well as many other species-focused conservation.
Full information on Species Survival Plans from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is located here.