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Rare and endangered species, such as golden lion tamarins, Sumatran tigers, and sarus cranes, breed and raise their young – showing the success of the zoo's conservation and research programs.

The zoo's research team studies animals both in the wild and at the zoo.

On 3,200 acres (13 km) in the Virginia countryside, rare species, such as Mongolian wild horses, scimitar-horned oryx, maned wolves, cranes, and others live and breed in spacious surroundings.

SCBI's modern efforts emphasize reproductive physiology, analysis of habitat and species relationships, genetics, husbandry and the training of conservation scientists.

In 2010, the complex was renamed the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI), a title also used as an umbrella term for the scientific endeavors that take place on both campuses.

Because it is a part of the Smithsonian Institution, the National Zoo receives federal appropriations for operating expenses.

A new master plan for the park was introduced in 2008 to upgrade the park's exhibits and layout.

The fate of animals and plants became a pressing concern.

Many of these species were favorite zoo animals, such as elephants and tigers; hence the staff began to concentrate on the long-term management and conservation of entire species.

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