About C2S2


The Conservation Centers for Species Survival (C2S2) cooperatively applies collective resources for the survival of threatened species with species needs- large areas, minimal group sizes, minimal public disturbance, and research.


C2S2 provides leadership in studying and creating self-sustaining, secure populations ex situ (in captivity) and in situ (the wild) of some of the world’s most endangered species.
C2S2 is taking immediate action to create large-scale, reproductively and genetically healthy, sustainable populations of endangered species in secure havens. Not only are these collaborative efforts saving species, we are creating a resource for returning species to nature, thereby restoring ecosystems and the promise of a healthy planet.


In 2005, five of the world’s foremost endangered species breeding and management centers in the U.S. (Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, San Diego Zoo Global, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute/National Zoological Park, White Oak Conservation, and the Wilds) came together to form C2S2. The organization was born out of an urgent need for greater collaboration and science-driven programs that could save species at a larger scale. Individually, these Centers have helped save some of the world’s rarest species, from the black-footed ferret to the giant panda to the Florida panther, among many others. The formation of C2S2 was also driven by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) that has long-appreciated, and benefited from, the contributions of breeding centers for saving species at risk, or already extinct, in nature.

To interrupt the onslaught of species loss, the Centers recognized the need to think and act bigger – growing population sizes from tens to several hundreds to the needed thousands. This goal not only saves species, but also avoids the insidious effects of inbreeding while maintaining evolutionary potential and ensuring species safety and integrity. C2S2 partners realized the need for a paradigm shift – saving species and preventing extinctions by pooling expertise, specialized facilities, and an extensive international network, all while identifying new, improved approaches for conservation.
In 2014, C2S2 moved its central office from SCBI to Fossil Rim Wildlife Center (Glen Rose, TX). The following year C2S2 received 501(c)(3) status and hired its first Executive Director.

Board and Advisors

C2S2 board is composed of experts in conservation biology, reproduction, reintroduction science, animal care and management, and natural resource management.

Board of Directors

Dan Cassidy, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo– Omaha, NE
David Wildt, Ph.D. (Chairman/ President), Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute– Front Royal, VA
James Gregory (Treasurer), Austin Savanna– Austin, TX
Jan Ramer, The Wilds– Cumberland, OH
Kelley Snodgrass, Fossil Rim Wildlife Center– Glen Rose, TX
Lauren Zarama, InKemia Green Chemicals– Houston, TX
Mike Tackas (Chair-Elect/ Secretary), African Lion Safari– Hamilton, ON,  Canada
Roger Sweeney, North Carolina Zoo– Asheboro, NC

Board Observers

Budhan Pukazhenthi, B.V.SC., Ph.D., Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute– Front Royal, VA
Charlie Gray, African Lion Safari– Hamilton, ON, Canada
Dan Beetem, The Wilds– Cumberland, OH
Holly Haefele, DVM, Fossil Rim Wildlife Center– Glen Rose, TX
Gareth Morgan, African Lion Safari– Hamilton, ON, Canada
JB Minter, Ph.D., North Carolina Zoo– Asheboro, NC
Justin Gregory, Austin Savanna– Austin, TX
Patricia Simmons, North Carolina Zoo– Asheboro, NC
Steve Shurter, White Oak Conservation– Yulee, FL

Advisory Board

Adrienne Crosier, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute– Front Royal, VA
Amy Chabot, African Lion Safari– Hamilton, ON, Canada
Craig Allenby, National Zoological Gardens– Pretoria, South Africa
Danny Morris, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo– Omaha, NE
Dwight Lawson, Oklahoma City Zoo– Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Evan Blumer, Oso Mono Ltd– Gahanna, OH
Gina Ferrie, Disney’s Animal Kingdom- Lake Buena Vista, FL
Jack Grisham, Saint Louis Zoo– Saint Louis, OH
Joe deGraauw, Nashville Zoo– Nashville, TX
John Lukas, Wildlife Conservation Global/ Okapi Conservation Project– Jacksonville, FL
Larry Killmar, ZooTampa at Lowry Park– Tampa, FL
Lewis Greene, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium– Powell, OH
Nick Boyle, Taronga Western Plains Zoo– New South Wales, AU
Nicole Cavender, The Morton Arboretum– Lisle, IL
Peter Clark, Montaro Zoo– Montaro South, SA, Australia
Regina Mossotti, Endangered Wolf Center– Eureka, MO
Sara Hallager, Smithsonian National Zoo– Washington, DC
Susie Ellis, International Rhino Foundation– Strasburg, VA

Conservation Centers & Affiliate Members

The C2S2 Conservation Centers and Affiliates are world leaders that have recovered some of the rarest species on the planet, from the giant to the black-footed ferret to scimitar-horned oryx. The C2S2 collaboration represents 100,000 acres of large, naturalist areas and decades of experience in wildlife management, recovery efforts, and reintroduction programs. C2S2 is always looking for a new conservation centers to join us. Learn about our incredible members and find out how to join.

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