About the TAG

The Ape Taxon Advisory Group

Apes- bonobos, chimpanzees, gibbons/siamangs, gorillas, and orangutans – are found in 120 Association of Zoos and Aquariums accredited institutions. The primary mission of the AZA’s Ape Taxon Advisory Group (Ape TAG) is to coordinate the management of these five taxa within AZA zoos.

Specifically, the Ape TAG works with the individual ape Species Survival Plan (SSP®) programs to ensure that ape populations in accredited zoos are properly managed to secure their long-term future and physical and psychological health. 

Additionally, the Ape TAG makes recommendations for how ex situ populations of apes may most effectively serve as ambassadors to educate zoo visitors and contribute to the conservation of their wild counterparts. You can find important information about TAG activities and partnerships on our Resources page.

The Ape TAG is a completely volunteer organization administered by a group of professionals that care about apes and ape issues. Find out more about the people behind the TAG and the subcommittees that they manage.

Voting MembersAffiliationRole
Lori PerkinsDeputy Director, Birmingham ZooChair
Tina Cloutier BarbourCurator of Conservation, Research & Chimpanzees, Lion Country SafariVice Chair
Nancy HawkesDirector of Animal Care, Woodland Park ZooMember
Lisa NewPresident & CEO, Zoo KnoxvilleMember
Lee Ann RottmanDirector of Animal Programs, Naples ZooMember
Michael SternCurator of Primates & Small Mammals, Philadelphia
Heidi HellmuthCurator of Primates, Saint Louis ZooMember
Rob ShumakerPresident & CEO, Indianapolis ZooMember
Species Survival Plan AdvisorsAffiliationRole
Audra MeineltColumbus Zoo & AquariumBonobo SSP Coordinator
Tina Cloutier BarbourCurator of Conservation, Research & Chimpanzees, Lion Country SafariChimpanzee SSP Coordinator
Beth RichardsDisney’s Animal KingdomGibbon & Siamang SSP Coordinator
Kristen LukasCleveland Metroparks ZooGorilla SSP Coordinator
Megan ElderComo Park Zoo & ConservatoryOrangutan SSP Coordinator
Steve RossLincoln Park ZooChimpanzee Studbook Keeper
Megan ElderComo Park Zoo & ConservatoryOrangutan Studbook
Roby ElsnerLittle Rock ZooGorilla Studbook Keeper
Becky MalinskySmithsonian National ZooSiamang Studbook Keeper
Keith ZdrojewskiDallas ZooWhite-Handed Gibbon Studbook Keeper
Amanda OttDisney’s Animal KingdomWhite-Cheeked Gibbon Studbook Keeper
SME AdvisorsAffiliationRole
Jennifer MickelbergZoo AtlantaPopulation Management
Rich BerglNorth Carolina ZooConservation
Hayley MurphyZoo AtlantaVeterinary
Tracy FennJacksonville ZooAd Hoc
Tara Stoinski,Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund InternationalPast Chair
Elena Hoellein LessCleveland Metroparks ZooResearch
Marietta DanforthGreat Ape Heart ProjectResearch & Technology
Jeff SailerToledo ZooAPM Committee Liaison

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