Saving Species

Through collaborative Species Survival Plans®, we can help ensure healthy populations of threatened species. 

An important element of the National Aviary’s mission is its commitment to caring for and conserving the world’s endangered birds.  As a member of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), the National Aviary cooperates with hundreds of other AZA member institutions in the management of at risk populations – both under human care, and in the wild.

Since 1981, AZA member facilities have pooled their expertise and resources into nearly 500 Species Survival Plans (SSPs).  Each SSP works under the supervision of a Taxon Advisory Group (TAG) to develop an historical record of the species’ population as well as  management plans for its target species.  More than 70 of the species living at the National Aviary are part of an SSP population.  That means every endangered bird hatched at the National Aviary contributes to the sustainability of a population that might otherwise falter without this special attention.

The National Aviary as a whole provides a vital contribution to the management of endangered populations with our successful breeding programs.  Our noteworthy additions to the Guam Rail and Guam Kingfisher managed populations are instrumental in preserving these rare species, as are the more than 20 other SSP species reared at the National Aviary in the past year alone.