Species Survival Plan

Through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, North American zoos work together to cooperatively manage populations and establish conservation programs, called Species Survival Plans (SSP). Each SSP carefully manages the breeding of a species to maintain a healthy and self-sustaining captive population that is both genetically diverse and demographically stable.

Beyond this, SSPs include a variety of other cooperative conservation activities, such as research, public education, reintroduction, and field projects. SSPs help zoos keep track of information about the entire captive population of a species, including births, deaths, where the animals are located, and their lineage. This information helps zoos make sound breeding recommendations.

The Ross Park Zoo currently participates in several of AZA’s Species Survival Plan programs. Several of these animals are considered Critically Endangered or Endangered by IUCN – The World Conservation Union.

For more information, visit the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ website.

SSP Animals at Ross Park Zoo

• African pancake tortoise*
• African penguin
• Amur leopard
• Black-and-white ruffed lemur
• Black howler monkey
• Cinereous vulture
• Fennec fox
• Geoffroy’s marmoset
• Golden-headed lion tamarin
• Green aracari
• Pallas’s cat
• Prehensile-tailed porcupine
• Red panda
• Red wolf
• Sand cat
• Snow leopard
• Snowy owl
• Southern three-banded armadillo
• Two-toed sloth
• Wood turtle*

*This species is a part of our ambassador animal collection.

Global Conservation Fund

The Ross Park Zoo is wild about conservation, and there are a few simple ways to support our selected conservation initiative this year. The zoo’s Global Conservation Fund is an annual collection of funds to support wildlife conservation. This is an easy way for guests to support and help wildlife around the world.

Our selected initiative for 2019 is the Red Wolf Coalition. The Red Wolf Coalition advocates for the long-term survival of red wolf populations by teaching about the red wolf and by fostering public involvement in red wolf conservation. Here’s how you can help:

   1. Round up for conservation in our Zoovenirs Gift Shop! “Round up” the amount of your purchase to the next dollar, or donate any amount of your choosing.

   2. Visit the Ross Park Zoo on one of our conservation weekends! A portion of general admission sales on these educational event days throughout the season will be collected for the fund.

Since the fund was established in 2016, recipients have included the Red Panda Network, Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB), and the WildCats Conservation Alliance.

Conservation Projects & Partnerships

FrogWatch USA

FrogWatch USA is a citizen science program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) that provides individuals, groups and families with an opportunity to learn about wetlands in their communities and report data on the calls of local frogs and toads.

You do not have to be a frog or toad expert to be a FrogWatch USA volunteer. All you need is an interest in frogs and toads! Follow the Ross Park Zoo on Facebook for upcoming training sessions and events.

Snow Leopard Trust

The Snow Leopard Trust aims to protect this endangered cat through community-based conservation projects that are based on an improved scientific understanding of snow leopard behavior, needs, habitats and threats. The Ross Park Zoo supports this initiative by raising money through gift shop sales. Stop in the Zoovenirs Gift Shop today to purchase Snow Leopard Trust items and help save this beautiful species!

Monarch Watch

Each fall, hundreds of millions of monarch butterflies migrate from the United States and Canada to overwintering areas in Mexico and California. This migration to avoid the winter is one of the world’s greatest natural wonders, yet it is threatened by habitat loss in North America. The Ross Park Zoo provides a Monarch Waystation with the resources necessary for monarchs to produce successive generations and sustain their migration. Look for the Monarch Waystation in lower zoo!

Seafood Watch

The Ross Park Zoo has partnered with Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch® program to educate our guests and recommend sustainable seafood choices when shopping or dining out. The program empowers consumers and businesses to make choices for healthy oceans, helping to support diverse marine ecosystems for the future. Using science-based, peer reviewed methods, Seafood Watch assesses how fisheries and farmed seafood impact the environment and provides recommendations indicating which items are ‘Best Choices,’ ‘Good Alternatives,’ and which ones to ‘Avoid.’

Download the Seafood Watch app for your mobile device to receive on-the-go information about the most up to date sustainable seafood choices. You can also pick up printed Seafood Watch guides and materials at the zoo’s ticket booth or Zoovenirs Gift Shop.

Earth Fest

Earth Fest, sponsored by Earth Day Southern Tier, is one of the longest running celebrations of Earth Day in the nation and a respected Southern Tier institution. The Ross Park Zoo is a proud partner of the festival held the weekend of Earth Day at SUNY Broome. Over 50 earth-friendly vendors participate each year. We proudly support Earth Day Southern Tier’s mission of increasing public education and awareness of environmental concerns and the programs, products, and technology available to green the Southern Tier and the planet. Together we can realize a better today and a sustainable, more healthy tomorrow.

Conservation Weekends

Plan your visit to the Ross Park Zoo on a conservation weekend, and help support our Global Conservation Fund! $1.00 from every zoo admission on conservation weekends is added to the total for this year. These weekends include themes and specific conservation days such as International Red Panda Day, International Vulture Awareness Day, International Snow Leopard Day, and more. Conservation weekends also include additional education at the zoo with kids crafts and/or activities focused on that particular weekends’ topic.

I Love NY Water

Over 70% of disposable water bottles end up in landfills, lakes, streams, and oceans. The Ross Park Zoo is a proud supporter and partner of I Love NY Water’s mission. I Love NY Water is a not-for-profit initiative created to promote the benefits of New York’s #1 resource: our tap water.

96 Elephants

35,000 African elephants were killed for their ivory last year – that’s 96 a day. This unprecedented poaching crisis demands a global movement. The Ross Park Zoo has joined the 96 Elephants campaign to stop the killing, stop the trafficking, and stop the demand.