Zoo Conservation


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Conservation Strategy 2015

"(...) Several WAZA members are providing critical financial support to field-based conservation and significant investments are made in wildlife conservation every year. " 

Inger Anderson, Director IUCN, June 2015


"This Campaign addresses how commercially-based human activities impact marine species conservation. It focuses on how zoos and aquariums work and will encourage participants to make real changes to their working practices by applying the already shared vision to united objectives for marine biodiversity management and protection."


"The EU LIFE Funding is an EU initiative that provides financial support dedicated exclusively to the environment, nature, conservation and climate action. "

North America


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Photo: Auckland Zoo

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"ZAA-accredited zoos and aquariums in Australasia are huge contributors to conservation in our part of the world and globally. ZAA members participate in 629 conservation programs for threatened species worldwide. In 2017, they funded a total of $20.6 million to conservation as well as a further $3.1 million of in-kind support."

Saving Species One at a Time...

#1 Golden Lion Tamarin
#1 Golden Lion Tamarin

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#2 California Condor
#2 California Condor

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#7 Persian Leopard
#7 Persian Leopard

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#1 Golden Lion Tamarin
#1 Golden Lion Tamarin

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Zoos are saving species... and we can prove it! Find in our blog the stories of species that are in risk of extinction and the conservation efforts of zoos and other institutions to protect them.

Zoo Conservation Memes

The following memes were created by Zoos Saving Species. They show the involvement of zoos in the conservation of several species all over the world.

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Zoos & Other Organisations

Zoos & aquariums support multiple conservation organisations and some of them depend heavy on this support to continue their important work. The support provided by zoos includes financial & human resources, knowledge & expertise, animals for release, & others! Find some examples in the list below...


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​The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is the largest and oldest global institution focussed on wildlife conservation. It brings together governmental and non-governmental organisations, manages/supports scientific research and field programmes and develops policies and laws.

The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums has been a member of IUCN since 1949. The Director General of IUCN, Inger Andersen, has referred to WAZA as a "key partner" in wildlife conservation, in her message on the WAZA's conservation strategy ("Committing to Conservation", 2015). 

Ms. Andersen has also declared IUCN is proud of having WAZA as a member and mentioned the potential of zoos to engage public in conservation, the importance of their research for conservation and their crucial financial support to field programmes. 

Polar Bears International

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Polar Bears International, the only conservation institution entirely focussed on the conservation of polar bears (Ursus maritimus), is partnered with international zoos to save this threatened species from extinction.


Dr. Steven C. Amstrup, chief scientist at PBI, has said that zoos play a critical role in the conservation of polar bears, by rescuing orphaned cubs, educating the public, raising environmental awareness and supporting vital research. Modern exhibit designs and enrichment programmes allow captive polar bears to have long, healthy lives, while working as ambassadors for the species.

Find out more.

Lemur Conservation Network

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The LCN is a project by the IUCN SSC Primate Specialist Group and it brings together over 60 institutions for the protection of Madagascar's lemur species.

Several zoos are LCN members and support conservation initiatives in Madagascar. 

Check it here.

Wildcats Conservation Alliance

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The Wildcats Conservation Alliance is a partnership between Zoological Society of London and the Dreamworld Wildlife Foundation, aiming at the conservation of tigers & Amur leopards in the wild. Their conservation projects are based in Sumatra, Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Russia.

"Zoos provide much-needed funds for cat conservation and have historically made up 75% of the donations to Wild Cat Conservation Alliance.  More than 40 zoos worldwide contributed to Amur leopard conservation and more than 150 to wild tigers."

Find out more.

World Parrot Trust

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The WPT brings together global wildlife conservationists and welfare scientists to work for the conservation of parrots in the wild and their welfare in captivity.

Many zoos and aquariums throughout the world are partners and/or sponsors of this institution.

Giraffe Conservation


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GCF is an international, science-based, organisation, leader in the conservation of giraffes and their habitats.

"GCF VIP Partners have and continue to

provide significant on-going support furthering our efforts to securing a future for all giraffe in Africa."

Several zoos are listed as "VIP partners": Auckland Zoo, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Blank Park Zoo, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and Naples Zoo.

Check it here.

The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International

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Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International was founded in 1978, by Dr. Dian Fossey, with the objective of researching and protecting gorillas in the wild. It does not only directly work to protect gorillas from poaching, habitat loss and disease, it also conducts important research (vital to better understand the ecology & behaviour of these animals) and helps local communities in order to reduce human-wildlife conflicts.

In 1995 this institution partnered with Zoo Atlanta, which provided it with "office space, human resources, information technology and financial support; and funding for scientific staff".

Many other WAZA zoos have been supporting the conservation project for mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei), which is a critically endangered subspecies (IUCN Red List, 2008) with less than 900 individuals left in the wild.

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium has also implemented the "Partners in Conservation" project (supported by Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and other institutions), which aims to protect gorillas and other threatened wildlife in Central Africa.​

Find out more here.

Snow Leopard Trust

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The Snow Leopard Trust, the main institution focussed on the conservation of snow leopards (Panthera uncia), is partnered with over 70 zoos from all over the world, through its Natural Partnerships Program (NPP).

Zoos are actively involved in the in-situ conservation of this endangered species, by funding and participating in on-going conservation and research projects. They also raise awareness and educate the public about snow leopards and the threats they are facing in the wild.


This institution highlights the work of Tulsa Zoo, which has, since 1999, given over $20 000 for snow leopard conservation projects.

Find out more.

International Rhino Foundation

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The International Rhino Foundation (IRF), founded in 1989, is dedicated to the protection of wild rhinos. They work to protect and manage the most fragile rhino populations, both in Asia and Africa, and support vital research for the long-term conservation of these species.


Over 50 zoos have helped this organisation in its mission, by providing funding and technical expertise. IRF  also helps zoos in their educational programmes. These global partnerships between zoos and other conservation organisations are vital for conservation programmes.

Find out more.


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Panthera works for the conservation of wild cat species and their natural habitats and they are the only organisation in the world to focus exclusively on all 40 wild cat species.

"Panthera works with zoos to educate the public about wild cats and their conservation. Zoos also conceive, guide, and support some of our most important programs."

Find out more.

Grevy's Zebra Trust

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The Grevy's Zebra Trust is an independent wildlife organisation, created in 2007, that works towards the conservation of the highly threatened Grevy's Zebra, in Kenya and Ethiopia.

They are partnered with multiple zoos.

Check them here

Proyecto Tití

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Through field research, education and community engagement, this project aims for the long-term conservation of the cotton-top tamarin. 

Many zoos and zoo associations throughout the world are partners with and support this project.

Check them here.

Other Zoo Missions

Scientific Research

Oregon Zoo


Marwell Wildlife

Animal Welfare

Smithsonian's National Zoo


Marwell Wildlife