The European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) is the most intensive type of population management for a species kept in European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) zoos. Even though EEP participation is mainly reserved for EAZA collections it is possible for non-EAZA collections to take part in these programmes. There are generally however more restrictions on such zoos (which may go as far as only holding non-breeding animals for educational purposes), and there are certainly restrictions on the number of programmes they may participate in. Each of the EEPs has a coordinator (someone with a special interest in and knowledge of the species concerned, who is working in an EAZA zoo or aquarium) assisted by a Species Committee.
The coordinator has many tasks to coordinate, such as collecting information on the status of all the animals of the species for which he or she is responsible kept in EAZA zoos and aquaria, producing a studbook, carrying out demographic and genetical analyses allowing them to produce a plan for the future management of the species.
Together with the Species Committee, recommendations are made each year about which animals should be allowed to breed, which individual animals should go from one zoo to another, the conditions of such a move (breeding loan, exchange, term free disposition, etc.) and so on.
One species which has been handled by EEP was Sumatran tiger which only a few hundred left in the wild in only about 7 percent of their habitat remains. In November 2011, Sumatran tiger Kirana has delivered 3 cubs at Chester Zoo under EEP which attempts to coordinate breeding between zoos and maintain genetic diversity.
- EEP; Breeding Programmes; European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA)