AZA News Releases

Cheetah Conservation Fund and Association of Zoos and Aquariums Join to Present 6th Annual International Cheetah Day

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Dec. 1, 2016) – Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), the world’s longest running cheetah research, education and conservation organization, is partnering with the U.S.-based Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) to lead the sixth annual observance of International Cheetah Day this Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016. Developed to generate awareness for the cheetah -- Africa’s most endangered big cat -- the two organizations are offering activities to inspire people of all... Read More
Posted by Jessica Puchala at Thursday, December 1, 2016 | 0 comments

AZA Statement on TripAdvisor’s New Animal Encounter Booking Policy

Silver Spring, MD – Yesterday, the travel and tourism website TripAdvisor announced a new booking policy, noting it would no longer sell tickets to certain attractions or experiences where tourists come into physical contact with animals. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) stands behind every animal encounter program offered by its members. Kris Vehrs, Interim President and CEO of AZA, issued the following statement: The Association of Zoos and Aquariums agrees with... Read More
at Thursday, October 13, 2016

On World Rhino Day, AZA Applauds Passage of Important Wildlife Trafficking Legislation

Silver Spring, MD – Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the “Eliminate, Neutralize, and Disrupt (END) Wildlife Trafficking Act,” clearing the legislation for President Barack Obama’s signature. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and its members applaud the passage of this legislation that will help combat poaching and wildlife trafficking. “AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums are working closely with government and international partners... Read More
Posted by Jen Fields at Thursday, September 22, 2016

Smithsonian's National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute Director Dennis Kelly Sworn-In as Chair of the Board at Association of Zoos and Aquariums

Past Chair of the AZA Board of Directors Dennis Pate (left) presents Chair of the Board Dennis Kelly (right) with a gavel to officially mark the beginning of his term     Silver Spring, Maryland – The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) is announcing the swearing-in of Dennis Kelly, Director of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, as the new Chair of the AZA Board of Directors. “Dennis’s extensive... Read More
at Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Critical Wildlife Conservation and Research Projects Funded by AZA-Accredited Zoos and Aquariums

Silver Spring, Maryland – The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) today announced AZA Conservation Grants Fund (CGF) grants totaling nearly $250,000 to be awarded to 13 projects. “AZA’s Conservation Grants Fund provides support to AZA members who are working to expand our knowledge about wildlife species and the threats they face in their natural ranges,” said AZA Senior Vice President of Conservation and Science Dr. Debborah Luke. “These scientists,... Read More
at Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Association of Zoos and Aquariums Awards 44 Nature Play Grants

Silver Spring, Md. – The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) today announced the recipients of 37 “ Nature Play Begins at Your Zoo & Aquarium ” grants. With support from the Disney Conservation Fund (DCF) , these competitive grants, selected through a rigorous review by a panel of industry experts, are being presented to AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums to encourage family nature play and conservation education. “AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums... Read More
at Wednesday, September 14, 2016

AZA Board of Directors Announces USFWS Director Dan Ashe As Organization’s Next President and CEO

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Board of Directors today announced the selection of current U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Daniel M. Ashe as the next President and Chief Executive Officer of its 233-member organization. In January, Ashe will succeed Jim Maddy, who retired from AZA earlier this year. “Leading the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is a great honor and privilege, and I look forward to the opportunity to help lead a community of organizations and... Read More
Posted by Rob Vernon at Friday, August 19, 2016

AZA-Accredited Facilities Assist in Historic Reintroduction of Black-footed Ferrets to Natural Range

Black-footed Ferret, National Black-footed Ferret Conservation Center (Ryan Hagerty/USFWS) Silver Spring, Maryland (August 3, 2016) – Thirty-five years after the species was rediscovered after having been believed to be extinct, a historic reintroduction has taken place, marking another positive step toward recovery for the black-footed ferret, one of North America’s most endangered mammals. On July 26, 2016, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, in partnership with... Read More
at Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Statement from AZA on a New Spurious List, Attacking AZA-Accredited Aquariums

Silver Spring, MD (July 20, 2016) – Today, an animal activist organization released a list of what it believes are 10 aquariums that represent bad animal welfare for dolphins and whales, four of which are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Kris Vehrs, Interim President & CEO of AZA, issued the following statement regarding this spurious list: “The Association of Zoos and Aquariums rejects any list created by personal beliefs and innuendo rather than hard... Read More
at Wednesday, July 20, 2016

First-ever Elephant Welfare in Zoos Studies Published by Scientific Journal PLOS ONE

Silver Spring, MD – Today, the scientific journal PLOS ONE released a series of peer-reviewed scientific articles on elephants in North American zoos. The study was originally funded by an Institute of Museum and Library Services grant, and included zoos which are members of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). Following the release of the digital collection of articles, AZA released the following statement: The Association of Zoos and Aquariums and its members which... Read More
at Thursday, July 14, 2016

Association of Zoos and Aquariums Statement on Oregon Endangered Species Ballot Measure

Silver Spring, MD – The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) today released the following statement, endorsing a possible Oregon ballot initiative to prohibit the sale of products and parts from certain endangered and threatened species: At the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, animal conservation and protection across the globe is a fundamental part of our mission. One of the greatest threats to endangered animals like elephants, rhinos and sharks is poaching and illicit... Read More
at Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Run, Fly or Swim into Summer Adventures with Frito-Lay 2 Go and the Association of Zoos and Aquarium

Silver Spring, MD -- School is out, summer is in session and families across the country are looking for their next great adventure. To encourage the exploration, Frito-Lay 2 Go® multipacks and Quaker® Chewy bars are taking families from the depths of the ocean to the treetops of a rainforest through a partnership with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Starting this week through October 20 , families can receive a free kid's pass to participating... Read More
at Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Statement from AZA on the American Humane Association’s Humane Conservation Program

Silver Spring, MD  – Recently, the American Humane Association announced a new Humane Conservation program that includes certifying the welfare of animals at zoos and aquariums. Kris Vehrs, Interim President & CEO of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, issued the following statement regarding AHA’s announcement: “The Association of Zoos and Aquariums supports any program that improves animal welfare. AZA’s 233 members have been providing state of the art... Read More
at Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Statement from AZA on Dolphin Sanctuary Announcement by National Aquarium

Silver Spring, MD  - This morning, National Aquarium, located in Baltimore, an Association of Zoos & Aquariums accredited member, announced plans to create a dolphin sanctuary for its Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. Kris Vehrs, Interim President & CEO of AZA, issued the following statement regarding National Aquarium’s announcement: “Every member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums must make animal welfare decisions appropriate for the animals in its care.... Read More
at Tuesday, June 14, 2016

AZA-Accredited Zoos and Aquariums Invite Public to Join in Taking Action to Help Western Pond Turtle

Silver Spring, Maryland – On World Turtle Day®, zoos and aquariums accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) are highlighting conservation efforts protecting Western pond turtles and are encouraging the public to join in taking action to help save the species from extinction. “While AZA-accredited facilities continue to collaborate with other conservation organizations to protect the Western pond turtle, the support of the public is crucial to helping to... Read More
at Monday, May 23, 2016

AZA-Accredited Zoos and Aquariums Supporting Projects to Halt Species Decline

Endangered Species Day puts focus on collaborative conservation efforts underway to save the world’s most vulnerable animals from extinction (Silver Spring, MD) --Utilizing passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags and receivers to monitor a variety of African penguins’ behaviors, assisting with the testing of alternative fishing gear choices to reduce vaquita bycatch in the Upper Gulf of California, and developing and implementing effective methods for identifying, treating... Read More
at Friday, May 20, 2016

On World Penguin Day—and Every Day—AZA-Accredited Aquariums and Zoos are Working to Save Species

  Public invited to help protect future of endangered African penguins Silver Spring, Maryland (April 25, 2016) – Today is World Penguin Day, and in honor of these species, aquariums and zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) are raising awareness to help the future of this beloved species. “AZA-accredited aquariums and zoos work not only for the penguins in their care, but also actively participate in efforts to help save them in the wild... Read More
at Monday, April 25, 2016

AZA-Accredited Zoos and Aquariums Celebrate Earth Day with 10th Annual Party For the Planet™

Approximately 130 zoos and aquariums accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) are joining together for the largest combined Earth Day celebration in North America—the 10 th Annual Party For the Planet™. “Party For the Planet™ offers families a unique opportunity to visit their local AZA-accredited zoo and aquarium, celebrate the Earth’s biodiversity, and learn how they can take action to make a difference,” said AZA Interim President and... Read More
at Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Statement from AZA on Killer Whale Announcement by SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment

Silver Spring, MD – This morning, SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment, an Association of Zoos & Aquariums accredited member, announced major changes to its killer whale program. Kris Vehrs, Interim President & CEO of AZA, issued the following statement regarding SeaWorld’s announcement: “Every member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums must make animal welfare decisions for the animals in their care. SeaWorld’s decisions to end its signature... Read More
at Thursday, March 17, 2016

Help “Spring Forward” for Amphibians with FrogWatch USA™

Silver Spring, Maryland (March 11, 2016) – Take advantage of Daylight Saving Time, and "Spring Forward" for amphibians through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) FrogWatch USATM citizen science program! Celebrate the season by taking action and engaging in conservation in your community.  FrogWatch USA is dedicated to collecting information about frog and toad populations, raising awareness about amphibians and wetlands, and engaging... Read More
at Friday, March 11, 2016

U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance Announces Major Corporate Commitments to Combat Wildlife Traffick

WASHINGTON, D.C. – To celebrate World Wildlife Day, 16 leading U.S. companies are making substantial commitments to combat wildlife trafficking, in collaboration with the U.S. Wildlife Trafficking Alliance (the Alliance), and highlighted and applauded by the U.S. Department of the Interior.    Today’s announcement is a significant step forward in the U.S. effort to save at-risk species around the world. It is a direct response... Read More
at Thursday, March 3, 2016

Statement from AZA regarding the APHIS Proposed Rule on Marine Mammals

Silver Spring, MD – Yesterday, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service released a proposed rule on changes to regulations on marine mammals. In response, the AZA released the following statement: Facilities accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) provide the highest level of animal care and are dedicated to constantly ‎advancing animal welfare standards. AZA has a long history of working with the officials at the Animal and Plant Health... Read More
at Thursday, February 4, 2016

Statement from AZA regarding the USFWS approval of an African elephant import permit

Silver Spring, MD – Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service approved an import permit to allow 18 African elephants to be brought into the country by three zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). In response, the AZA released the following statement: The Association of Zoos and Aquariums is pleased that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has approved the African elephant import permit requested by three AZA member zoos: Dallas Zoo,... Read More
at Thursday, January 28, 2016

AZA Program for Potential Future Executives of Accredited Zoos and Aquariums Begins Third Year

Silver Spring, Maryland  – According to preliminary results from research, it is estimated that there will be approximately 20 zoo or aquarium director openings ‎per year for the next 10 years at facilities accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Knowing this, the AZA is proactively working to educate and train the next generation of leaders of AZA-accredited zoological facilities through the Executive Leadership Development Program (ELDP). Entering the... Read More
at Monday, January 25, 2016

Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Announces Recipients of Quarter Century Award

Silver Spring, Maryland (January 6, 2016) - The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the primary accrediting body for top zoos and aquariums in the United States since 1974, announced today the recipients of the Association's Quarter Century Award. Established in 2015, this new award acknowledges facilities that have maintained AZA accreditation continuously for 25 years or more, highlighting their commitment to animal care, welfare, conservation, education, and more. The inaugural... Read More
at Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Find a Zoo or Aquarium Donate to AZA Contact Us Member Login Search the site