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Species Survival Plan

Species Survival Plans (SSPs) were developed by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) in 1981 to manage the breeding of captive animal populations in order to maintain healthy, self-sustaining populations for endangered taxa in zoos and aquariums throughout North America. The goal is to maintain a genetically diverse and demographically stable population for each population. Since its inception, the SSPs have evolved to become more holistic cooperative conservation programs encompassing a wide variety of activities such as research, public education, fund raising, field projects and reintroduction. The mission of the program is to help ensure the survival of selected wildlife species into the future and to provide a link between zoo and aquarium animals and the conservation of their wild counterparts.