The following program is for ALA members. 

Don’t miss this opportunity to participate in this program!  If you’re having any trouble joining / renewing your membership, email Tim at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and he will get you taken care of.

Any fish entered into this program will also qualify for Chicago Livebearer Association BAP Program

A message from Tim Habiger:

Wed 6/5/2024 11:35 PM

Good evening livebearer keepers!

My name is Tim Habiger.  I’m currently a member of the board of directors for the ALA and serve as our membership chair.  Today I want to introduce you to the newly established Species Conservation Award Program (SCAP).  SCAP is intended to improve upon and replace our original Species Maintenance Program (SMP).  Some SMP history follows:

SMP was a valuable program, over 40 years running that unfortunately has not been actively pursued since before COVID.  Many of the fish are still out there, but we need to find them and distribute them as widely as possible.  There has been an ebb and flow to the success of the program over the years, largely dependent on the diligence with which it’s pursued.  Communication appears to be key. As we looked further at SMP these last couple of months, reading through everything about it (and talking to several people), we concluded that the construction of the program has led us to its current status.  In other words, SMP needs a significant revision to be of use to the ALA, the hobby and livebearer conservation. 

When SMP was started, there was no internet (and therefore no Amazon or eBay). Computers with the computational power, memory, and storage capability we enjoy today were well beyond the reach of individuals  (and took up whole rooms!).  FedEx was in its infancy and USPS Priority Mail Express as we know it today did not exist.  People joined the ALA for 2 main reasons, to get information and to get fish.  Fast forward to today and people still join the ALA for those same 2 reasons but due to the advent of widely available information on the internet, I would argue that they primarily join to get (and keep) fish.  This is certainly borne out in the number of emails I get as membership chair asking, “where can I find this species?”.  Fish, as well as information are now widely available on the internet and with the advent of modern shipping practices can reach anywhere in the U.S. alive (well, most of the time anyway).  As a club, ALA needs to step up our game to conserve livebearers in the hobby and in the wild! A revamped SMP (SCAP) is one avenue to make that happen.

With that in mind we have spent the last couple of months writing a largely new program.  Instead of calling it SMP, we’ve renamed it SCAP.  It differs from the old SMP in several important areas:

  1. There is now an award incentive, similar to BAP.
  2. While almost every local club has a BAP, SCAP is a relatively unique approach.
  3. All livebearer Species/Populations/Morphs/Strains are included.  That means for the first time in many years, we will bring domestic strains back into the program.
  4. Communications and Privacy among breeders is still protected but a clear path for someone looking to acquire a certain species is now more prominently featured.
  5. It’s intended to drive distribution and sales of fish in the club while conserving the species we care about.

After discussion and several revisions, the SCAP program was approved by the ALA board for rollout and participation amongst our membership.  While we did introduce the program at this year’s convention, we didn’t have time to feature it given other commitments at the show.  Please consider this the official rollout of the program.

Fellow board member Curt Bitterling has joined me in running the program in its first year.  So, I know by now you all have one burning question (am I right?)


There were several attachments to this email.  The first is a complete set of program rules.  I encourage all members to please read through the program and seriously consider participating.  To participate, just fill out one of the attached survey forms (I’ve included several formats with instructions for your convenience) and return it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  Curt and I will get you enrolled in the program and start you on your way to being an ALA recognized conservationist!  Within the next couple of months, this material will be uploaded to our website along with the “SCAP standings” recognizing our conservationists and a list of species being maintained within the club.

To conserve and distribute livebearers, please consider getting involved!  Curt and I are looking forward to hearing from you.  Don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions you may have.


Tim Habiger and Curt Bitterling

SCAP committee

American Livebearer Association