The Alexander Center for Applied Population Biology has an active software development program that focuses on creating tools that can be used to apply science-based concepts to the conservation and management of populations.

These software programs can collect data in a standardized format or can provide analyses to assist in the management of wildlife populations in zoos or in the wild. Thus, the focus can be on interpretation and communication of results rather than the technical aspects of data manipulation. These computer software tools provide information for managers to make evidence-based decisions.

The center’s collaborative software-development approach involves staff from the Alexander Center, Population Management Center and experts from zoos across the country. To date the team has developed multiple programs to assist in the management of zoo and wildlife populations:

Zoos across the country cooperate on breeding and transfer plans to ensure healthy populations. In developing PMCTrack, Lincoln Park Zoo scientists have made it possible to evaluate the outcome of every recommendation for the first time—improving population planning everywhere.


Developed by Lincoln Park Zoo scientists, ZooRisk assists managers in making scientifically based decisions for animal populations.


PopLink is a computer program developed by Lincoln Park Zoo scientists to track data on individual animals over their lifetimes and use that data to help their management.

The Alexander Center has also developed a number of species-specific computer rmodels for use in our conservation and management projects with wild populations, including jaguars, elephants, eastern massasauga rattlesnakes and other diverse species.