AZA Wildlife Contraception Center
Contraception: an essential tool in population management and sustainability
It's easy to understand the importance of breeding programs designed to conserve endangered and threatened species. By maintaining captive animal populations, zoos and aquariums are able to conduct vital research and ensure the survival of species whose numbers are declining in the wild.
The need for contraception in zoos and aquariums may at first seem surprising or counter-intuitive. However, contraception is an essential tool in reproductive management that also enables individuals to live in natural social and family groups. Population managers carefully designate breeding pairs--a kind of high-tech matchmaking--to sustain genetically and demographically healthy populations and to prevent inbreeding. Pregnancy can be prevented in the remainder of the population using contraception.