IUCN: Leatherback: Vulnerable; Loggerhead: Endangered; Green Sea Turtle: Endangered; Hawksbill Turtle: Critically Endangered; Kemp's Ridley Turtle: Critically Endangered
In 2013 alone, 89 AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums reported spending nearly $3.8 million on chelonian (turtle and tortoise) field conservation. More than a third of the funding went towards the conservation of sea turtle species. Most sea turtle conservation, frequently conducted in collaboration with federal or state agencies ranging from the US Fish & Wildlife Service to smaller state departments, focuses on rescue, rehabilitation, and reintroduction, nests, tagging individuals, conducting health assessments, and participating in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network, and monitoring. AZA institutions provide crucial support to field conservation partners such as the Sea Turtle Conservancy; a non-profit membership organization focused on sea turtle research and advocacy campaigns.
Learn more about these projects, along with other field conservation and research efforts undertaken by AZA member institutions, by visiting AZA's Conservation and Research Database. Institutions report projects and update existing projects on a yearly basis, and these data are used for AZA's Annual Report on Conservation and Science and related publications.
Chelonian TAG Chair: Michael Ogle, Knoxville Zoological Gardens
Chelonian TAG Vice Chair: Barry Downer, Tulsa Zoo
For more information about AZA SAFE and its commitment to sea turtle conservation, please contact SAFEseaturtle@aza.org.
Join the effort by making a donation to AZA SAFE.