Species Survival Plan Programs

The Virginia Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), a national nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting animal care, wildlife conservation, education, and science. We participate in many AZA programs and activities, including Species Survival Plan (SSP) programs.

SSP animals are some of the most critically endangered species on the planet. Their wild and captive genetic populations are monitored and closely managed to avoid inbreeding or natural catastrophe.  In most cases the loss of one or the other population could lead to extinction of the species.

In the SSP program, zoos work together to help endangered and threatened species through a wide range of activities, including cooperative breeding programs, research, public education, fundraising, field projects and reintroduction.  We currently participate in SSPs for more than 60 species of animals, including:

  • Asian Small-Clawed Otter
  • Eastern Bongo
  • Elephant
  • Fennec Fox
  • Fiji Island Banded Iguana
  • Gibbon
  • Goeldi’s Monkey
  • Rhinoceros Hornbill
  • Lion
  • Malayan Tapir
  • Ocelot
  • Orangutan
  • Red Panda
  • Tiger
  • White Rhino