Colleen Lynch, M.S.

Conservation & Science
AZA Population Management Center
Consulting Population Biologist
  • M.S. – Biology, Kin Differentiation in Baboons (Papio papio), Northern Illinois University
  • B.S. – Biology, Illinois Benedictine College
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Areas of Expertise

  • Small population management
  • Reintroduction planning and evaluation
  • Integrated management of captive and wild populations
  • Meta-population management
  • Management and sustainability of avian populations
  • Management and sustainability of institutional collections


Colleen has been with the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) Population Management Center since its inception in 2000, serving as a scientific advisor for the AZA’s cooperatively managed animal populations. Combining her experiences as an animal keeper, curator, researcher, and population biologist, Colleen has produced more than 500 AZA Breeding and Transfer Plans and advised multiple international management programs, including the Blue-crowned Laughingthrush Global Species Management Plan. She has also advised government and conservation agencies for more than one dozen species recovery programs.

In addition to advising zoo population managers, Colleen is currently curator of birds at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden in Columbia, South Carolina. She is therefore especially concerned with using population biology to examine the management and sustainability of avian populations.

Prior to joining Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, Colleen was Hope B. McCormick Curator of Birds at Lincoln Park Zoo. Colleen also worked as a bird keeper and incubation specialist at the Zoological Society of San Diego’s Avian Propagation Center. She served as studbook keeper and population manager for the San Clemente Loggerhead Shrike Recovery Program.


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Howard, J. G., Lynch, C., Santymire, R. M., Marinari, P. E., & Wildt, D. E. 2016. Recovery of gene diversity using long-term cryopreserved spermatozoa and artificial insemination in the endangered black-footed ferret. Animal Conservation, 19(2), 102–111.
  • 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.
  • Coonan, T. J., Varsik, A., Lynch, C., and Schwemm, C. A. 2010. Cooperative conservation: zoos and in situ captive breeding for endangered Island fox Urocyon littoralis ssp. International Zoo Yearbook, 44: 165-172.
  • 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.
  • Monroe, E., Lynch, C.  Soluk, D., Britten, H. 2010. Nonlethal Tissue Sampling Techniques and Microsatellite Markers Used for First Report of Genetic Diversity in Two Populations of the Endangered Somatochlora hineana??(Odonata: Corduliidae). Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 103(6):1012-1017.
  • Guiffre, G., Thornton, R., and Lynch, C. 2010. Puppets: construction and use for the hand-rearing of birds. Animal Keeper’s Forum.
  • Bauman, K., Mekarska, A., Grisham, J., and Lynch, C. 2010. Small canid husbandry challenges: reviewing problems, with recommendations for improving captive canid programmes. International Zoo Yearbook, 44: 87-101.
  • Bakker, V.J., Doak, D.F., Roemer, G.W., Garcelon, D.K., Coonan, T.J., Morrison, S.A., Lynch, C., Ralls, K., and Shaw, R. 2009. Incorporating ecological drivers and uncertainty into a demographic population viability analysis for the island fox. Ecological Monographs, 79(1): 77-108.
  • Lynch, C. 2008. 2008. Population Biology: the science of population management for captivity, reintroduction, and conservation. Wildlife Middle East News, 2(4).
  • Lynch, C. 2005. Social behavior of the Guinea baboon. Wildlife Conservation Society, New York. In press.
  • 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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