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Take Action for Tigers

tigerMNZooPhoto: Minnesota Zoo

Do you love tigers as much as we do? Wild tigers are in trouble and need our help. Four of nine subspecies are extinct in the wild, and the Amur, Malayan, and Sumatran subspecies each number fewer than 500 in the wild as the result of poaching and habitat loss.

AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums are taking action, raising money and awareness through the Tiger Conservation Campaign. Check out this new video, learn more about the campaign, and spread the word!




Join Zoos in Taking Action for Elephants

elephant_Nashville_AmieeStubbsHadari, one of the four African elephants at the Nashville Zoo (Photo: Amiee Stubbs – Nashville Zoo)

Every day, 96 African elephants are killed by poachers – 35,000 in 2012 alone. The brutal killings are fueled by high demand for ivory: despite an international ban on ivory trade in 1989, illegal trade remains rampant. The United States is one of the largest illegal ivory markets in the world, second only to China.

But there’s hope: conservationists and elephant experts, including those at AZA-accredited zoos, are working with government officials, local communities, and rangers dedicated to stopping poaching.

96 Elephants is a campaign started by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) aimed at stopping the killing, stopping the trafficking, and stopping the demand for ivory. The goals are to strengthen U.S. laws against ivory trade, raise awareness of the consequences of ivory purchases, and raise money for ongoing elephant conservation work in Africa. Supported by AZA-accredited zoos across North America, WCS – whose parks include the Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo and Queens Zoo – has elephant protection programs in a dozen of the most critical conservation landscapes in Africa.

In total, AZA-accredited zoos support and participate in more than 85 elephant conservation projects in 20 countries in Africa and Asia, among them:

  • The Indianapolis Zoo has provided more than $3 million to the Tarangire Elephant Project in Tanzania for tracking and protecting elephants.
  • The Saint Louis Zoo engages local communities in Kenya in conservation efforts, including the development of a protected wildlife area now visited by elephants.
  • San Diego Zoo Global partners with Elephants Without Borders to research elephant health, genetics, and movement patterns in Botswana to learn more about the best ways to promote conservation.
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom, in partnership with Save the Elephants, developed a curriculum for schools in Kenya to educate kids about the effects of poaching.
  • The North Carolina Zoo works with the World Wildlife Fund in Cameroon to place satellite tracking collars on elephants, allowing conservationists to follow migrating elephants and prevent conflict between humans and elephants and allowing for better understanding of elephant migration and habitat.
  • AZA-accredited zoos provide the majority of support for the International Elephant Foundation. IEF’s projects include establishing Conservation Response Units in Sumatra that directly involve once-neglected captive elephants and their mahouts in patrolling elephant habitats.

AZA institutions also care for more than 300 elephants in 69 facilities, and contribute to scientific knowledge of elephants by studying the health, nutrition, welfare, general physiology, behavior and reproduction of the animals in their care. Learn more about elephant conservation and care.

What you can do:

Sign the petition: Add your voice to 96 Elephants petition to strengthen laws against the sale of ivory in the United States.

Contact your members of Congress: Send a letter to your representative and senators encouraging them to crack down on wildlife trafficking and place a moratorium on the trade of ivory in the United States.

Visit elephants in AZA-accredited zoos: It’s a great chance to connect with and learn more about these amazing animals – and your visit supports zoo conservation and research work like the projects mentioned above. Find out where you can visit elephants.

Spread the word: Learn about the crisis at 96elephants.org and share with your friends.




Take Action for Polar Bears

Nikita_KansasCityZooNikita, a polar bear at the Kansas City Zoo (Photo: Kansas City Zoo via Facebook)

Each fall, polar bears gather along the shores of Canada’s Hudson Bay, waiting for the water to freeze so they can move offshore to hunt. But climate change means that the bears are waiting longer for ice to form, which strains their fat reserves and threatens their survival.

Polar Bears International marks this migration period with Polar Bear Week, a time to learn about climate change and take action. This year’s event is November 4-10.

Polar Bears International and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums are partnering to connect zoo and aquarium visitors to the impacts of climate disruption on polar bears. AZA-accredited institutions also take part in the Polar Bear Species Survival Plan, a cooperative effort to maintain healthy, genetically diverse populations in zoos and aquariums and to support field conservation efforts.

What you can do: Visit PBI’s website for ideas on reducing your carbon footprint, learning about polar bears, and inspiring others to get involved. You can also watch PBI’s live cam to catch a glimpse of the migrating bears.


Conservation Snapshots

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. Learn more:

Amphibians

Matthew S. Vaughan, Fort Worth Zoo

Birds

Jessie Cohen, National Zoo

Fish

Jay Hemdal, Toledo Zoo

Mammals

Jessie Cohen, National Zoo

Invertebrates

Erin Burge

Reptiles

Glen Gerber, San Diego Zoo
AZA zoos and aquariums contribute $160 million a year to wildlife conservation, supporting more than 2,650 projects in 130 countries. You help make this work possible! Here's how:
  • Visit: Zoos and aquariums are some of the best places for you and your family to get connected to nature and become engaged in conservation action. Find an accredited zoo or aquarium

  • Volunteer: Many zoos and aquariums have opportunities for adults and teens. Learn more

  • "Adopt" an animal or make a donation: Your contribution helps with animal care and enrichment as well as conservation work. Check your favorite zoo or aquarium website for details.

Did You Know?
Fun facts about amazing animals
Supporting Zoos and Aquariums