Because living animals are so vital to the future of zoos and aquariums, Brad Andrews announced
at the Director’s Meeting in Silver Spring that the AZA Board has approved the formation of a new
Task Force on the Sustainability of Zoo-based Collections.
The Task Force includes AZA Board members Brad Andrews, Mike Fouraker, and Bob Wiese,
WCMC Chair Mark Reed, and AZA’s Sr VP of Conservation & Education Paul Boyle.
In addition, the Task Force will call on a diversity of individuals from the conservation community
(e.g., AZA Conservation staff, AZA Government Affairs staff, AZA Population Management Center
staff, AZA Contraception Center staff, AZA Small Population Management Advisory Group, AZA
Wildlife Conservation Management Committee, animal program chairs, U.S. Fish & Wildlife
Service officials, research scientists, and selected conservation professionals).
The Task Force on the Sustainability of Zoo-Based Collections is charged with evaluating
the following areas of animal collections management and making recommendations to the
AZA Board to maximize the success of AZA’s cooperative animal management and
- Review the mission, goals, and limits of the AZA cooperative management programs.
- Set minimum achievable goals for long-term sustainability of AZA cooperative animal
- Examine and determine which factors/parameters have the greatest impact on the
sustainability of zoo populations and their ability to reach the above goals.
- Assess resources required to sustain the cooperative management programs of the
AZA - balancing limited resources (e.g., people, expertise, support) and succession
planning for the leadership and membership in the cooperative management programs.
- Assess the ability of the current system to allow programs to meet sustainability
requirements and achieve the goals.
- Assess current relationship with U.S. government agencies and assess permitting
regulations and practices that impede zoos and aquariums maintaining sustainable
populations. Provide recommendations to increase respect for our cooperative
animal management programs by government agencies. Provide recommendations
on regulation and permitting changes that will maximize collection sustainability
and our cooperative program’s ability to meet animal management and conservation goals.
- Recommend modifications to the AZA cooperative animal management system
structure/organization to ensure programs are positioned to achieve sustainability goals.
The Task Force is interested in your thoughts and ideas on the points listed above.
Over the next few months, we will solicit input on specific questions using web-based tools.
Please feel free to forward this message as needed.
Paul Boyle, Ph.D.
Find your closest accredited zoo or aquarium at http://www.aza.org/findzooaquarium.
Senior Vice President, Conservation & Education
Association of Zoos & Aquariums
8403 Colesville Road, Suite 710
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3314
(P) 301-562-0777 X240
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