The Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Program

What do the California condor, the Komodo dragon, and the American burying beetle have in common?

One, all of these species are endangered. Two, all of these species are part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Program (SSP). Zoos and Aquariums participating in this program work to manage and conserve captive species facing extinction in the wild.

Cooperation is the Key to Success

Animal curators and veterinarians at various zoos and aquariums work cooperatively to maintain breeding programs for selected species, ensuring genetic diversity. For example, in the African wild dog SSP, dogs are transferred among institutions to avoid medical problems caused by inbreeding.

Species Survival Programs at Zoo Miami

Zoo Miami's Komodo dragon species survival program has successfully hatched 27 of these monitor lizards — the world’s largest lizards — and sent them to zoos in both North America and Europe. Only three such breeding programs exist outside the dragons’ natural habitats, which are located on a number of Indonesian Islands.
Included among Zoo Miami’s multiple SSP programs are the Cuban crocodile, Asian elephant, the African wild dog and the western lowland gorilla.
For more information regarding Zoo Miami's conservation efforts, please visit  Zoo Miami Conservation.

Fun Facts

Visit national parks and wildlife refuges to learn what animals are endangered and what habitats they depend on. Share what you've learned with your family and friends.
Visit Natl Parks

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