Meerkats gathered together in exhibit

AZA Population Management Center

Red wolf standing over pup in exhibit

The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Population Management Center (PMC) creates Breeding and Transfer Plans with more than 500 Species Survival Plan® (SSP) programs. These programs are designed to maintain genetically diverse and demographically stable populations with behaviorally healthy individuals for the long-term future. PMC scientists also rely on species experts and advisors for guidance on behavior, conservation, education, husbandry, molecular genetics, nutrition, reproductive biology, research, reintroductions, veterinary, and welfare.

More Information

To schedule a planning meeting or receive population management software advice for an AZA Studbook or Species Survival Plan®, please email

Freely Available Resources

For freely available population management-related resources, please see:

AZA’s Resource Documents page


  • Andrews, J.E., Alaze, M. and Tri Hastuti, Y. (2022). Bridging the gap in ex situ and in situ population management of anoa. BULLetin: Journal of the IUCN SSC Asian Wild Cattle Specialist Group, 7, 14–20.  
  • Andrews, J. E. (2018). A day in the life of a population biologist at the AZA Population Management Center in Chicago. Animal Keepers Forum 45(11&12), 343–344.  
  • Andrews, J. E. and Hoffman, M. (2018). Population management of the Eastern Indigo Snake Species Survival Plan® and its role in reintroduction: A case study. Animal Keepers Forum. 45(11&12), 335–337.  
  • Che-Castaldo, J., Andrews, J., Hoffman, M., Ferri, D., and Elmore, M. (2017). Eastern Indigo Snake (Drymarchon couperi) AZA Animal Program Population Viability Analysis Summary Report. Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago, IL.  
  • Terwilliger, L., Harden, C., Andrews, J., Irmscher, S., Bearman, R., and Petefish, D. (2016). Lesser Madagascar Hedgehog Tenrec (Echinops telfairi) AZA Animal Program Population Viability Analysis Summary Report. Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago, IL.
  •   Gray, S. M., Parsons, A. W., Andrews, J. E., Schad Eebes, K., Faust, L. J., & Che-Castaldo, J. (2023). Institutional networks in cooperative population management: Exploring patterns in transfer fulfillment. Zoo Biology, Early View.
  • Gray, S.M., Faust, L.J., Kuykendall, N.A., Bladow, R.A., Schad Eebes, K., Che-Castaldo, J.P. (2022). Reasons for unfulfilled breeding and transfer recommendations in zoos and aquariums. Zoo Biology. 41(2), 143-156.
  • Che-Castalado, J., Gray, S.M., Rodriguez-Clark, K., Schad Eebes, K., Faust, L. (2021). Expected demographic and genetic declines not found in most zoo and aquarium populations. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 19(8), 435-442.
  • Bladow, R.A., and Milton, S.L. 2019. Embryonic mortality in green (Chelonia mydas) and loggerhead (Caretta caretta) sea turtle nests increases with cumulative exposure to elevated temperatures. Journal of Experiment Marine Biology and Ecology, 518, 151180
  • Santymire, R. M., Lonsdorf, E. V., Lynch, C. M., Wildt, D. E., Marinari, P. E., Kreeger, J. S., & Howard, J. G. 2019. Inbreeding causes decreased seminal quality affecting pregnancy and litter size in the endangered black-footed ferret. Animal Conservation, 22(4), 331–340.
  • Lynch, C. 2019. Sustainability Index (S-Index): A tool for use in the evaluation and planning of institutional animal collections. Zoo Biology, 38(1), 12–23.
  • Schad, K. (2018). Advanced Population Biology: Beyond Breeding and Transfer Plans. Animal Keepers’ Forum. The Journal of the American Association of Zoo Keepers, Inc. 45(11-12), 340-342.
  • Schad, K., Thompson, S.D., Wiese, R.J. (2018). History of Population Biology in AZA. Animal Keepers’ Forum. The Journal of the American Association of Zoo Keepers, Inc. 45(11-12), 306-308.
  • Lynch, C. and Schad, K. 2018. Contributing Editors. Animal Keeper’s Forum: Special Edition Dedicated to Population Management, 45(11-12): 299-347
  • Lynch, C.and Sra, N. 2018. Demography in Population Biology. Animal Keeper’s Forum, 45(11-12): 322-325
  • Lynch, C. and Senner, P. 2018. Genetics in Population Management. Animal Keeper’s Forum, 45(11-12): 318-321
  • Hutchins, M., Marra, P. P., Diebold, E., Kreger, M. D., Sheppard, C., Hallager, S., & Lynch, C. 2018. The evolving role of zoological parks and aquariums in migratory bird conservation. Zoo Biology, 37(5), 360–368.
  • Bladow, R.A. and Briggs, T.M.R. 2017. Natural and Human Influences on Loggerhead Sea Turtle Nesting, Hatching, and Emergence Success. Shore & Beach: Dedicated Issue on Coastal Engineering and Research in Florida, 85(3), p. 3–11
  • Annetti, K. L., Rivera, N. A., Andrews, J. E., & Mateus-Pinilla, N. 2017. Survey of Haemosporidian Parasites in Resident and Migrant Game Birds of Illinois. Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management, 8(2), 661–668.
  • Hvilsom, C., Pereboom, Z., and Schad, K. 2016. Banking on our future: A new centrally organized biobank will be an invaluable resource for the EAZA community. ZooQuaria. 94:34
  • Schneider, T., Lynch, C., Elliot, J., Werth, J., Zordan, M., Boyle, N., & Kurita, M. 2016. Global Species Assessment: Status of Penguins in Zoos and Aquariums. CITES
  • Walker, S., Forsyth, S., Felter, Y., Cowl, V., and Schad, K. 2016. Managing the numbers: The use of contraception within zoo collections has been made easier by EGZAC, whose ongoing research is becoming an invaluable resource for the entire community. ZooQuaria. 94:16-17
  • Lynch, C., Schad, K., and Ford, C. 2016. Population Q & A: The work of a population biologist is sometimes misunderstood; here we clarify some of the most common misconceptions. ZooQuaria. 94:32-33
  • Faust, L.J., Simonis, J.S., Harrison, R., Waddell, W., Long, S. 2016. Red Wolf (Canis rufus) Population Viability Analysis – Report to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago
  • Garcia, G. and Schad, K. 2015. Long-term mountain chicken frog plans. ZooQuaria. 91: 7
  • Jiménez-Mena, B., Schad, K., Hanna, N. and Lacy, R. C. 2015. Pedigree analysis for the genetic management of group-living species. Ecology and Evolution. doi:10.1002/ece3.1831
  • Andrews, J. E., J. D. Brawn and M. P. Ward. 2015. When to use social cues: Conspecific attraction at newly created grasslands. The Condor: Ornithological Applications 117(2):297-305
  • Olea-Popelka, F., Ferrie, G. M., Morris, C., Pessier, A. P., Schad, K., Stamper, M. A., Gagliardo, R., Koutsos, E. and Valdes, E. V. 2014. Leaping forward in amphibian health and nutrition. Zoo Biology, 33: 586–591
  • Francescon, C., Jeggo, D., and Schad, K. 2014. Mauritius Pink Pigeons Escaping Extinction. ZooQuaria. 86: 23-24
  • Ferrie, G. M., Alford, V. C., Atkinson, J., Baitchman, E., Barber, D., Blaner, W. S., Crawshaw, G., Daneault, A., Dierenfeld, E., Finke, M., Fleming, G., Gagliardo, R., Hoffman, E. A., Karasov, W., Klasing, K., Koutsos, E., Lankton, J., Lavin, S. R., Lentini, A., Livingston, S., Lock, B., Mason, T., McComb, A., Morris, C., Pessier, A. P., Olea-Popelka, F., Probst, T., Rodriguez, C., Schad, K., Semmen, K., Sincage, J., Stamper, M. A., Steinmetz, J., Sullivan, K., Terrell, S., Wertan, N., Wheaton, C. J., Wilson, B. and Valdes, E. V. 2014. Nutrition and health in amphibian husbandry. Zoo Biology, 33: 485–501
  • Lynch, C. 2014. Population Biology: The Science of Population Management for Captivity, Reintroduction, and Conservation. Pp. 445-453. In Conservation through Aviculture: Proceedings of the IV International Symposium on Breeding Birds in Captivity, Ed. M.M.Lamont. Hancock House Press, Toronto, CA
  • Lynch, C., and T. Snyder. 2014. Sustainable population management of birds: current challenges exemplified. Intl. Zoo Yrbk. 48(1)156-165
  • Earnhardt, J., Vélez-Valentín J., Valentin, R., Long, S., Lynch, C., Schowe, K. 2014. The Puerto Rican parrot reintroduction program: sustainable management of the aviary population. Zoo Biology 33(2): 89-98
  • Ogden, R., and Schad, K. 2014. The science of species conservation. ZooQuaria. 85: 16-17
  • Fletcher, R. J. Jr., C. W. Maxwell, J. E. Andrews & W. L. Helmey-Hartman. 2013. Signal detection theory clarifies the concept of perceptual range and its relevance to landscape connectivity. Landscape Ecology 28:57-67
  • Long, S. Dorsey, C., & Boyle, P. 2011. Status of Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Cooperatively Managed Populations. World Association of Zoos and Aquariums Magazine, Vol 12, p.15-18
  • Schad, K., editor. 2010. Amphibian data entry guidelines. Amphibian Ark,; 8 p
  • Ballou, J., Lees, C., Faust, L., Long, S., Lynch, C., Bingaman-Lackey, L., and Foose, T. 2010. Demographic and Genetic management of captive populations for conservation. Wild Mammals in Captivity. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois
  • Schad, K., editor. 2008. Amphibian population management guidelines. Amphibian Ark Amphibian Population Management Workshop; 2007 December 10-11; San Diego, CA, USA. Amphibian Ark,; 31 p
  • Lynch, C. 2005. Social behavior of the Guinea baboon. Wildlife Conservation Society, New York. In pressEifler, D., Schad, K., Ray, J., and McInnes, L. 2004. Anti-predator behavior and habitat selection for three nonindigenous Hemidactylus geckos in Florida. Herpetological Review 35(4):391-392
  • Earnhardt, J.M., Thompson, S.D. and Schad, K. 2004. Strategic planning for captive population: projecting changes in genetic diversity. Animal Conservation, 7: 9-16
  • Long, S., Lynch, C. and Van Dyke, F. 2003. Designing a captive breeding plan with real world constraints. A workbook in conservation biology: solving practical problems in conservation, 63-67
  • Long, S., Lynch, C. and Van Dyke, F. 2003. Implementing alternative captive breeding strategies. A workbook in conservation biology: solving practical problems in conservation, 57-61
  • Long, S., Lynch, C. and Van Dyke, F. 2003. Managing gene diversity in captive populations. A workbook in conservatin biology: solving practical problems in conservation, 49-56
  • Long, S., Lynch, C. and Van Dyke, F. 2003. Simple pedigree analysis. A workbook in conservation biology: solving practical problems in conservation, 1-47
  • Lynch, C. 2000. San Clemente Loggerhead Shrike studbook. Zoological Society of San Diego, San Diego, California
  • Lynch, C. 1999. San Clemente Loggerhead Shrike studbook. Zoological Society of San Diego, San Diego, California
  • Lynch, C. 1998. San Clemente Loggerhead Shrike studbook. Zoological Society of San Diego, San Diego, California
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