A Species Survival Plan (SSP®) is a conservation program for
various species administered through the Association of Zoos &
Aquariums (AZA®). Member zoos of the AZA® cooperatively
participate in these SSP®s. The goal of an SSP® is to maintain
a genetically viable captive population, to maintain a
demographically healthy population and to enhance the species
conservation in the wild.
The Ring-tailed Lemur SSP® consists of a Species Coordinator, a management group
(whose members are from the participating AZA zoos), and
advisors. Through a Master Plan, the Ring-tailed Lemur
Management Group makes breeding and non-breeding recommendations
for each individual ring-tailed lemur. Various computer programs help with
the process to recommend the best pairs for breeding to ensure
genetic diversity and a healthy population. Basically
it is a “computer dating service”.
The management group and
advisors with the participating zoos also work on projects that
involve education, veterinary care, behavior, nutrition, captive
management, husbandry and field research.
This cooperative program is the result of a group of dedicated
individuals and organizations with a common goal of ensuring that
ring-tailed lemurs survive as a species.