Zoo & Aquarium Field Conservation

Blog2_FieldConservationThe AZA Field Conservation Committee (FCC) paraphrases the definition of “Field Conservation” as action that helps secure the long-term survival of species in natural ecosystems and habitats. AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums coordinate, participate, or support conservation projects that: directly support field work, species recovery, veterinary care for wildlife disease issues, and assurance populations; focus in situ and ex situ research on ways to protect species or ecosystems in the wild; and increase opportunities to increase conservation awareness, advocacy, action, capacity and fundraising.  Read the complete definition of “Field Conservation”.
One of the goals of the AZA’s Field Conservation Committee is to   increase the amount of resources being committed to field conservation, and a toolkit was created to help zoos and aquariums find new ways to accomplish this. The toolkit consolidates an array of information including the definition of field conservation, AZA’s conservation–related accreditation standards and application questions, guidelines on how to develop an institutional strategic plan for conservation, ideas for developing dedicated revenue streams, examples of how to engage your organization, and ways in which organizations can promote their field conservation initiatives. Download theToolkit for Increasing Field Conservation Contributions.

Annual Report on Conservation Science

The AZA Annual Report on Conservation Science (ARCS) illustrates the substantial collective effort AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums dedicate towards direct field conservation. AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums serve as conservation centers that are concerned about ecosystem health, take responsibility for species survival, contribute to research, conservation, and education, and provide society the opportunity to develop personal connections with the animals in their care. These esteemed institutions play a vital role in maintaining our planet’s diverse wildlife and natural habitats while engaging the public to appreciate and participate in conservation.
Traditionally, each Annual Report summarized the substantial collective effort AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums dedicate towards field conservation, education programs, research studies, and green practices; however from 2010-2012 each Annual Report focused exclusively on those projects that have a direct conservation impact for animals in the wild. 2013 data were submitted by 204 of AZA’s 238 accredited institutions and certified-related facilities who spent approximately $160 million on about 2,450 conservation initiatives in 127 countries!  The following is a list of those institutions that contributed the most as a percentage of their budget:

Wildlife Conservation Society Bramble Park Zoo Alaska SeaLife Center
The Dallas World Aquarium Zoo Boise Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium
International Crane Foundation The Wilds Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center
Gladys Porter Zoo Monterey Bay Aquarium Aquarium of the Bay
Memphis Zoo New England Aquarium Brevard Zoo
Smithsonian National Zoological Park Fossil Rim Wildlife Center Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo
Denver Zoo Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography Safari West Wildlife Preserve
Walter D. Stone Memorial Zoo South Carolina Aquarium Tracy Aviary
Zoo Atlanta Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre Sacramento Zoo
Woodland Park Zoo Saint Louis Zoo Houston Zoo, Inc.
Columbus Zoo & Aquarium North Carolina Zoological Park Dakota Zoo
Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium San Diego Zoo Global Mystic Aquarium
Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens Lincoln Park Zoo Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk
Santa Barbara Zoological Gardens Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium Minnesota Zoological Gardens

AZA’s Conservation Partners help all AZA members achieve their conservation goals. The following Conservation Partners were among the top 20 most common field conservation  collaborators for AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums and certified related facilities in 2013.

Download the ARCS Publications:

From 2010-2012, AZA’s Annual Report on Conservation Science focused exclusively on field conservation activities that have a direct impact on animals in the wild. Data on other areas of conservation activity were not collected during that time, and AZA staff worked with the AZA Research and Technology Committee, Green Scientific Advisory Group, and Conservation Education Committee to develop survey instruments to target the following areas:

These surveys were issued beginning with 2013 activities.