Honduran Milk Snake

Honduran Milk Snake

The milk snake’s name originates from the incorrect belief that they drank milk from the udders of cows because they were often seen in barns and stables. In reality, they were hunting rodents, commonly found in those structures.

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On-Site Programs

Species Survival Plan (SSP)


When breeding animals that are of a limited population such as those found in zoos, care must be taken to ensure genetic diversity. SSPs help maintain this diversity. Zoos all over the world cooperate by lending their animals to other zoos so that they can mate and produce genetically diverse (and therefore healthier) offspring. This is coordinated through the use of studbooks.

For more information about SSPs visit the Association of Zoos and Aquariums SSP page.

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo currently participates in 17 SSPs for threatened and endangered species including:

SSP Logo This logo indicates SSP species at individual exhibits at the zoo.

Endangered SSP Animals

Amur tiger, Andean condor, Asian elephant, black and white ruffed lemur, fossa, golden lion tamarin, Humboldt penguin, mandrill, ocelot, red panda, red wolf, ring-tailed lemur, siamang, snow leopard, spectacled bears, Turkomen markhor and white-lipped deer.

Threatened SSP Animals

African lion, Arabian sand cat, radiated tortoise & Lake Victoria cichlids.

The zoo also publishes the studbook for the endangered Turkmenian markhor, North American fisher and white-handed gibbon. Our zoo is also nationally recognized for its successful breeding program for the Asian Elephant.

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo holds the studbook for the Turkmenian markhor.

markhor

Studbook

A studbook documents an animal's pedigree (genetic history) and breeding history. This tool allows zoos to track and manage each individual, cared for in AZA-accredited Zoos and Aquariums, as part of a single ex situ (in captivity) population. Zoos all over they world may participate in international breeding efforts to maintain endangered or threatened species. Recommendations are made as to which animals should be paired to maintain the greatest genetic diversity. Lack of genetic diversity is often a cause of infertility as well as many other diseases.