Population Management During the COVID-19 Crisis – AZA

An updated version of this document was added in March 2021.

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums developed a resource document on AZA Population Management During Covid-19  to provide general information and guidance regarding AZA Animal Programs, and to reassure the community that flexibility is warranted during this time.  As events during this global health crisis continue to unfold, this document may be updated.  The document has also been made available in relevant groups on the AZA network.

We are more united now than ever before as we navigate through this global health crisis together. As all of us struggle with unique challenges at home and at work, we realize that flexibility is extremely important during this time. Whether it is meeting accountability deadlines, communicating with our Animal Program colleagues in a timely manner, or maintaining and updating Species Survival Plan® (SSP) Breeding and Transfer Plans or Studbooks or Taxon Advisory Group (TAG) Regional Collection Plans, please know that the AZA Animal Population Management (APM) Committee, AZA Population Management Center (PMC) staff and Adjunct Population Biologists, and AZA staff are here for you. 

While none of us knows exactly how this will affect AZA’s Animal Programs in the long-run, we do know that it will have a lasting impact on animal populations due to transport constraints, reduced institutional capacity, reduced individual capacity, and the list goes on. All facilities will be impacted in different ways, now and into the future, and so it is difficult to gauge where our collective resources and priorities will be focused. We should all do our best to continue the work of our cooperatively managed Animal Programs as we navigate the unknown together.  

– Rebecca Greenberg, Director of Animal Programs, AZA