African Wild Dogs

The African Wild Dog

According to AZA, a Species Survival Plan is a cooperative population management and conservation program that manages the breeding of a species in order to maintain a healthy and self-sustaining population that is both genetically diverse and demographically stable. The program began in 1981 and currently covers 161 individual species of endangered animals.

African Wild Dog, Species Survival Plan

In October 1991, a Species Survival Plan® (SSP) was developed to provide management of captive populations of African Wild Dogs by implementing guidelines and regulations for housing and breeding the African Wild Dog in captivity and to provide support to those organizations in Africa working to stabilize the existing populations. The African Wild Dog, Species Survival Plan, currently coordinated by Mike Quick of the Sedgwick County Zoo, focuses on maintaining as much genetic diversity as possible within the captive population by carefully monitoring breeding. Currently there are 104 African Wild Dogs distributed among 26 AZA institutions. In July 2003, the SSP developed a two year master plan for 7 breeding pairs. Due to space constraints within SSP zoos it is essential that we manage the breeding and moves recommended with a strategy to maintain packs of wild dogs in our institutions. Therefore, it is the recommendation of the management group to move same sex siblings as packs rather than individuals whenever possible.

The mission of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’s (AZA’s) African Wild Dog Species Survival Plan program is to help ensure the survival of African wild dogs.

What is the mission of the African Wild Dogs Species Survival Plan?

The mission of any Species Survival Plan, according to the AZA, is to help ensure the survival of selected wildlife species by managing breeding, integrating conservation strategies, increasing public awareness, conducting basic and applied research, training wildlife and zoo professionals, developing and testing various technology relevant to field conservation, and reintroducing captive bred wildlife.

The African Wild Dogs SSP will implement a combination of the following strategies:

  1. Organizing scientifically-controlled managed breeding programs for selected wildlife as a hedge against extinction.
  2. Cooperating with other institutions and agencies to ensure integrated conservation strategies.
  3. Increasing public awareness of wildlife conservation issues, including development and implementation of education strategies at AZA-member institutions and in the field.
  4. Conducting basic and applied research to contribute to our knowledge of various species.
  5. Training wildlife and zoo professionals.
  6. Developing and test various technologies relevant to field conservation.
  7. Reintroducing captive-bred wildlife into restored or secure habitat as appropriate and necessary.