What is SPA?

SPA is a program of the Conservation Centers for Species Survival (C2S2)

The best way to ensure the survival of species is by building connectivity between populations that collectively represent a sustainable, larger “metapopulation”. This is being achieved through the Source Population Alliance (SPA), a group of credible, vetted, experienced participants who dedicate unique resources to produce viable populations of selected species. SPA participants come from the private and public sectors and share the common goal of contributing to populations of selected species through improved animal utilization that: (1) produces more funds for conservation, management, scientific research, and self-sustainability, (2) improves public awareness, and (3) returns populations to their native habitat.


In 2010 after looking at managed ungulate populations in AZA zoos and the capacity of C2S2 breeding centers, it was determined that a new paradigm was needed to create sustainable populations. Forming an alliance that included private landowners and their ungulate herds was the only way to form lasting populations to prevent extinction. In 2013 SPA was solidified as a concept at the AZA Ungulate TAG meeting at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center. SPA officially launched in August 2014 with four program species: Addax, Addra (Dama) Gazelle, Sable, and Scimitar-horned Oryx. In October of 2017 building upon the program's success thus far, 6 more species were added to the program, to create a conservation portfolio of 10 species.

The Source Population Alliance is generously provided office space by Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in Glen Rose, Texas.

Read the "Source Population Alliance Explained” Article by Gavin Livingston,
as seen in the ZAA Newsletter & Journal


Formed in 2005, the Conservation Centers for Species Survival (C2S2) is a collaborative effort of conservation breeding centers and like-minded institutions with an explicit purpose – to cooperatively apply and develop their unique resources for the survival of threatened species with specialized needs – large areas, natural group sizes, minimal public disturbance, and research. By combining their scientific and management expertise, these centers work towards the C2S2 mission to provide leadership in studying and creating self-sustaining populations ex situ and in situ of some of the world’s most endangered species. C2S2 is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Austin, Texas.

Click here to visit the C2S2 website