Regional Species Planning is the process of deliberating, prioritising, planning and implementing species selection and management in an ex situ setting. Essentially Regional Species Planning answers three key questions:
By addressing these questions, Regional Species Plans (RSPs) identify the priority species within the region, link these species to legitimate conservation roles or non-conservation roles as applicable, and foster regionally collaborative and consistent management approaches and strategies. RSPs for each of the ZAA Taxon Advisory Groups (TAGs) are created by the ZAA Executive Conservation & Population Management Team, TAG Conveners, Species Coordinators and other subject matter experts. The process for developing these resources has been derived from the 5-step process outlined in the IUCN SSC Guidelines on the Use of Ex situ Management for Species Conservation.
A RSP is a strategic ZAA TAG asset, created for the membership to use for many purposes, including the following:
● Supporting ZAA Members by providing contemporary guidance on best practices for the care of various species
● Supporting ZAA Members in regulatory and permit applications to import, export and house various species
● Supporting ZAA Members in decision-making around species planning at the exhibit, institutional, regional and global level
● Articulating the key contacts for various species or species groups
● Articulating program goals against which we’ll measure program performance in our Annual Report and Recommendations. Used to assess whether we’re managing species appropriately
● Where relevant, identifying vetted conservation actions and organisations that ZAA Members can support
● Identifying any key nuances and expectations of certain programs
Who Are We?
The SMP aspect of ZAA, is responsible for Regional Species Planning and coordination and facilitation of the management of priority species populations throughout the membership. The Animal Management Committee (AMC) oversees the strategy and operation of the ZAA SMP. This includes providing advice and/or input on Regional Species Planning, global integration and population sustainability, and progressing matters that arise under association policies relative to ZAA SMP business. The AMC is comprised of six to nine curatorial, managerial and directorial staff from different ZAA member organisations, including a ZAA Board Member. The AMC meets monthly to discuss matters and progress actions.
The AMC is currently comprised of the following individuals;
• Michael Kelly, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Board Representative
• Nick Boyle, Taronga Zoo, Member
• Kay Bradfield, Perth Zoo, Member
• Amanda Embury, Zoos Victoria, Member
• Simon Eyre, Wellington Zoo, Member
• Richard Gibson, Auckland Zoo, Member
• Lou Grossfeldt, Sydney Zoo, Member
• Mark Smith, Adelaide Zoo, Member
• Paul Whitehorn, National Zoo and Aquarium, Member
• James Biggs, Zoo and Aquarium Association, Staff Liaison
• Sarah Cordell, Zoo and Aquarium Association, Staff Liaison
• Todd Jenkinson, Zoo and Aquarium Association, Staff Liaison
ZAA SMP are very happy to share a brand-new resource, the ZAA Reptile TAG Regional Species Plan!
This project has been made possible through the work of many. A very big thank you to the Reptile TAG Co-conveners and drivers of this project, Alex Mitchell and Nick Kuyper, to all the Species Coordinators, Taxon Champions and everyone else who has been involved. This has been a big project, and ZAA SMP would like to acknowledge the time and expertise that has gone into it.
Following AMC review at the February meeting, this resource has been finalised and shared via the Reptile TAG email listserv. It can also be found on ZAA’s Member Portal under TAG Reports & Documents.
Read the document
The AMC has several projects planned for 2023 to assist species management across the membership. One of the projects to be targeted this year is to create an Animal Transfer Form, a template to be made available for all members to use when transferring animals between ZAA members. Some members are already using a form of similar nature. The form will aim to provide members another tool to use in the lead up to transfers, providing welfare assurance for transferred animals through information sharing.