One important role of the Felid TAG is to recommend the wild cat species managed by AZA studbooks, SSPs, and other zoo- and aquarium-based programs through the regional collection planning (RCP) process. The Felid RCP helps animal managers determine which species are most in need of zoo- or aquarium-based conservation programs; establish priorities for management, research and conservation; and recruit qualified individuals to carry out these activities.
In developing the RCP, the TAG takes into account both the limited amount of enclosure space available and the need to maintain animals in populations large enough to ensure their long-term genetic viability and demographic stability. They also consider the potential of selected species to contribute to conservation action through education, scientific research, fund-raising to support field conservation, and managed breeding for potential reintroduction. The goal of this careful planning process is that each cat species and individual animal held at AZA zoos and aquariums has a defined conservation or education purpose.
Some of the felid species held in AZA-member institutions are managed through AZA programs known as Species Survival Plans® (SSP) or a Population Management Plans (PMP).