Survivorship curve data

Can anyone point me to data used for survivorship curves? I’m trying to have my students graph out realistic survivorship curves for various animals, but am having trouble finding real data or data tables. It would need to show the amount of individuals at their various ages. (Similar to here:
I do have access to peer-reviewed journals through my institution so I can see those if sent to me.

Lynch, et al 2010 Survivorship patterns in captive mammalian populations: implications for estimating population growth rates mentions that they used a “survivorship database for captive mammals” maintained by AZA/WAZA. I don’t have access to the appendices of the paper but they reference: Appendix B; ISIS/WAZA 2004 and “Ecological Archives A020-090-A2”.

Another paper I read not long ago, Kohler, et al 2006 Comparative mortality levels among selected species of captive animals, states that, “Wild-born animals do not have mortality that differs significantly from captive-born animals”.

Both those papers may be useful, and if Kohler’s statement is correct, then if you can find that database that Lynch refers to you should be in good shape.

Both papers have data in tables in them as well, but what’s included in the papers themselves may not be holistic enough for your purposes.

Wich, et al 2009 Captive and wild orangutan (Pongo sp.) survivorship: a comparison and the influence of management may also be a useful paper.

The 2019 International Studbooks for Rare Species of Wild Animals in Captivity may help track down resources for individual species and includes names and emails of individuals responsible for maintaining the records, and here is another online list of the people responsible for maintaining studbooks of particular species. I don’t know about access to said studbooks though. Studbook records are useful because, among other things they “catalogue any births, captures, transfers, deaths and releases during the reporting period”.

Species360 may also have data you can access. You need a membership and such, but they may have something different for educators.

One final one:

Weon & Je Trends in scale and shape of survival curves have survival curve data in table format for humans in a variety of countries in their supplementary data.


For folks without access to the linked papers, some of them are available on ResearchGate and others can be found on a certain “hub” of science.


Another common activity is to generate human survivorship data from local cemeteries using birth/death dates on gravestones. You can get 1000s of datapoints quite quickly with a class of students at a large cemetery. Students can then interrogate that data with their own questions (compare curves for males/females, look at effects of war in veterans cemeteries, populations in different parts of town, how survivorship changes over time, Spanish flu, etc.)


There are some sources listed here: (unfortunately a few are deleted dropbox files)

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Thank you all so much! These are GREAT resources and just what I was hoping for. Thanks a million!

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