Conservation Centers for Species Survival


Centers for Species Survival (C2S2)

Addax mom guarding newborn

Fossil Rim, Texas

In 2005, five of the world’s top endangered species breeding and management centers in the United States: Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, San Diego Zoo Global, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute/National Zoological Park, White Oak Conservation, and the Wilds met together to form C2S2.

The consortium was born out of an urgent need for greater collaboration and science-driven programs that could save species at a large scale if they partnered together. Individually, these Conservation Centers have helped save some of the world’s rarest species, from the black-footed ferret to the giant panda and Florida panther. 

Additionally, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) was a driving force in initiating these collaborations large scale, as the agency long has appreciated the importance of breeding centers for saving species at risk, or already extinct, in nature. 

The Founding Members agreed to achieve five major goals:

1. Innovate in achieving species sustainability.

2. Produce an effective membership and collaboration paradigm.

3. Generate ways to conduct more scientific research to benefit species.

4. Build capacity.

5. Ensure financial sustainability to assure success.

In its first decade, C2S2 was based at Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) and developed and implemented programs supporting endangered species survival including cheetahs (Cheetah Sustainability Program), ungulates (Source Population Alliance), and birds (Avian Sustainability Program) through the collective allocation of the Conservation Centers’ unique space and expertise in cooperative, allied ventures. 

In 2014, C2S2 moved its central office from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) to Fossil Rim Wildlife Center. The following year C2S2 received 501(c)(3) status and hired its first executive director (now CEO).

At the 2015 annual October Board of Directors meeting, the board decided that C2S2 would develop a major plan to save an expanded portfolio of endangered species over the next 25 years, building on its existing models and developing new ways to address more species that can benefit from C2S2’s unique resources.

Denise McDonough, Dr. Pat Condy, Stephen McDonough

Baby White Rhino

Fossil Rim, Texas

February 4, 2012

C2S2 Meetings Attended

  • 2013 May 14-16 Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute- Front Royal, Virginia
  • 2014 May 13-15 White Oak Conservation- Yulee, Florida
  • 2015 May 19-21 Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium- Omaha, Nebraska  
  • 2016 May 3-6- San Diego Zoo Global- Safari Park- San Diego, California
  • 2017 April 11-14- Fossil Rim Wildlife Center at Somervell County Expo Center- Glen Rose, Texas
  • 2018 April 17-19 Austin Savanna- Austin, Texas
  • 2019 April 9-11- African Lion Safari- Hamilton, Ontario

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