Many wild animal species are quickly becoming extinct. In 1992, the Edmonton Valley Zoo joined the international Species Survival Plan, thereby taking an active role in the global issue of species conservation.
The Species Survival Plan (SSP), organized by zoos in 1981, consists of co-operative, coordinated breeding programs for captive endangered species throughout the world. The American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) administers the plan.
Species Survival Plans are not a substitute for preserving animals in nature but are a strategy for creating healthy, self-sustaining, captive populations that can be reintroduced into restored or secured habitats. The ultimate goal of the plan is to release healthy animals into the wild.