Global Species Management Plans
In preparation for the 2003 mid-year meeting of the then Committee for Inter-Regional Conservation Cooperation, its chair Jonathan Wilcken developed a visionary proposal for what he called Global Captive Management Programs. At the 58th WAZA Annual Conference on 20 November 2003 in San José (Costa Rica), a document on procedures and responsibilities for inter-regional ex situ management programmes was unanimously adopted by the plenary. This was the birth of what is today referred to as Global Species Management Plans (GSMPs), held under the auspices of the now called Committee for Population Management.
GSMPs are born out of growing concerns about the long-term sustainability of wild animal populations in human care. To fulfil the full suite of conservation roles required of animals in zoos and aquariums, they must be demographically robust and genetically representative of wild counterparts. Many species will be able to sustain these characteristics for the foreseeable future only when cooperatively managed at a global level (see WAZA Magazine 12: Towards Sustainable Population Management). A GSMP involves the management of a particular taxon with a globally agreed set of goals, while building upon and respecting existing regional processes.
The longest still running GSMP was approved for the Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) on 18 October 2008, convened by first Sarah Christie and then Malcolm Fitzpatrick from the Zoological Society of London (UK); the continuation of this GSMP was re-approved on 3 October 2012. Another GSMP was approved for the Javan gibbon (Hylobates moloch) on 5 October 2009, convened by first Leif Cocks and then Clare Campbell from Perth Zoo (Australia); however, this GSMP was discontinued on 23 September 2013.
Three additional GSMPs were approved on 3 October 2012: red panda (Ailurus fulgens) convened by Janno Weerman from Rotterdam Zoo (The Netherlands); blue-crowned laughingthrush (Dryonastes courtoisi) convened by Mark Myers from Woodland Park Zoo (USA); and Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) co-convened by Tara Harris from Minnesota Zoo (USA) and Alla Glukhova from Moscow Zoo (Russia). Additional GSMPs were subsequently approved: Goodfellow’s tree kangaroo (Dendrolagus goodfellowi) on 4 February 2013, convened by Claire Ford from the Zoo and Aquarium Association (Australasia) and Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis) on 10 April 2013, co-convened by first Sarah Christie and then Jo Cook from the Zoological Society of London (UK) and Tanya Arzhanova from Moscow Zoo (Russia).
Another three GSMPs were approved on 16 March 2016: anoa (Bubalus depressicornis and Bubalus quarlesi) convened by Terry Hornsey from Africa Alive! (UK); banteng (Bos javanicus) convened by Ivan Chandra from Taman Safari (Indonesia); and babirusa (Babyrousa sp.) convened by Joe Forys from Audubon Nature Institute (USA). Applications to establish GSMPs for a number of other taxa are currently being developed.
It has taken some time for the concept of GSMPs to gain momentum within the world zoo and aquarium community: four years from establishing the concept to approving the first GSMP, with nine working GSMPs another nine years later. Nevertheless, the anticipated establishment of more and more GSMPs gives testimony to how important the judicious development of inter-regional collaboration has been over the last 10+ years. The current shift from a regional to a global population management framework is a change as significant as the move from institutional to regional species management in the 1980s and 1990s.
Overview of the Global Species Management Plans
|Scientific Name||Common Name||Approval Date||Convenor and Co-convenor||Convenor and co-convenor Institution||Co-convenor||Co-convenor institution|
|Dendrolagus goodfellowi||Goodfellow's Tree Kangaroo||4/2/2013||Megan Richardson||Zoo and Aquarium Association|
|Panthera tigris sumatrae||Sumatran Tiger||3/10/2012||Malcolm Fitzpatrick||Zoological Society of London||Ligaya Tumbelaka||1. Bogor Agricultural University, Dept. Clinic Reproduction and Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine 2. Perhimpunan Kebun Binatang se Indonesia / Indonesia Zoological and Aquarium Association|
|Ailurus fulgens||Red Panda||3/10/2012||Janno Weerman||Rotterdam Zoo|
|Garrulaz courtoisi||Blue-crowned Laughingthrush||3/10/2012||Laura Gardner||Wildwood Trust||Colleen Lynch||Riverbanks Zoo & Garden|
|Panthera tigris altaica||Amur Tiger||3/10/2012||VACANT||N/A|
|Panthera pardus orientalis||Amur Leopard||10/4/2013||VACANT||N/A||Tanya Arzhanova||Moscow zoo|
|Babyrousa babyrussa||Babirusa||16/3/2016||Joe Forys||IUCN SSC Wild Pig Specialist Group||Sri Pentawati||Surabaya Zoo|
|Bos javanicus||Banteng||16/3/2016||Ivan Chandra||IUCN SSC Asian Wild Cattle Specialist Group||Steve Metzler||Dallas Zoo|
|Bubalus depressicornis and Bubalus quarlesi||Anoa||16/3/2016||Terry Hornsey||IUCN SSC Asian Wild Cattle Specialist Group||Yohana Tri Hastuti||Taman Safari Indonesia|
The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) is the global alliance of regional associations, national federations, zoos and aquariums, dedicated to the care and conservation of animals and their habitats around the world.