The Topeka Zoo is involved in a number of conservation management programs and our staff members contribute to animal management through service on the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) animal management groups. Our involvement includes:
SSPs are a cooperative population management and conservation program administered by the AZA. The program focuses on select species within zoos and aquariums that are typically classified as threatened or endangered. The Topeka Zoo participates in 13 SSPs, including: Asian small-clawed otter, Bali mynah, Western Lowland gorilla, black-and-white ruffed lemur, Bornean orangutan, Reticulated giraffe, Asian elephant, African elephant, Sumatran tiger, African lion and Pallas cat.
PMPs provide recommendations on basic population management decisions for zoo and aquarium species that are not managed through SSPs. These animals typically require less intensive management and conservation efforts. Several members of the Topeka Zoo staff serve as institutional representatives on PMPs, including: hippos, Chilean flamingos, red-capped cardinals, Dumerils’ ground boa, Large Malayan chevortains, Prehensile-tailed skinks, Mexican beaded lizards, blue-crowned motmots, Crested porcupines, South American prehensile-tailed porcupines, Nicobar pigeons, Trumpeter swans, Hammerkop stork, Lesser hedgehog tenrecs, Crested wood partridges, Roseate spoonbills, Hoffmanns two-toed sloth, Mexican red kneed tarantula.
Captive Breeding Specialist Group (CBSGs)
The Topeka Zoo supports the CBSG, which is a global network of conservation professionals who are dedicated to saving threatened species by increasing the effectiveness of conservation efforts worldwide.
The Topeka Zoo has managed two release/introduction programs: one for American golden eagles and one for Trumpeter swans. We have participated in placing captive hatched golden eagles from the Topeka Zoo and other North American facilities back into the wild. The Zoo worked in partnership with Ted Turner Enterprises, USFWS, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks and Westar Energy on this long-term project. Through our Trumpeter swan release project, all cygnets raised at the Topeka Zoo were transferred to a release project site in Minnesota in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the Minnesota State Zoo.