SILVER SPRING, Md. – The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) has announced its support for the “Extinction Prevention Act of 2019” introduced by U.S. Representative Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ-03) on Wednesday, May 22. This bill will create dedicated funds to conserve butterflies in North America, plants in the Pacific Islands, freshwater mussels in the United States, and desert fish in the Southwest United States. This legislation will also make research institutions and non-profit organizations such as AZA-accredited facilities eligible for federal funding to continue vital conservation work.
“We are at a critical point for many species of wildlife and wild places, as shown by a recent U.N. report noting one million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction,” said Dan Ashe, President and CEO of AZA. “We need to take direct action to address this crisis. Thank you to Representative Grijalva for calling attention to the problem and proposing a solution that will help us protect our nation’s wildlife.”
Many of the species and habitats highlighted in the legislation benefit directly or indirectly from AZA’s efforts to protect wildlife and wild places. For instance, between 2013 and 2017, AZA-accredited facilities spent over $1.2 million to protect monarch butterflies. Without continued funding and protection from the U.S. government and its non-profit partners, these and other species may cease to exist.
AZA and its members are committed to saving animals from extinction in our nation’s backyard and around the world. In 2017, AZA-accredited facilities collectively dedicated $220 million to field conservation efforts benefitting over 800 species, including 281protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Through programs like AZA SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction®, AZA and its members are harnessing their collective resources to save over 20 species and taxa of the world’s most vulnerable animals from extinction.
Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and ten other countries. Look for the AZA accreditation logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in saving species and your link to helping animals all over the world. To learn more, visit www.aza.org.
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