“Invest In The Nest” will help build and place nests in Africa.
SILVER SPRING, Md. – African penguin populations have been declining for the past few decades. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), its members and partners are taking action to help reverse this trend. Today, they are launching the “Invest In The Nest” campaign on Kickstarter, the innovative crowdfunding platform. The campaign seeks to raise $150,000 to help build and place 1,500 artificial nests for African penguins in South Africa and Namibia.
“AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums are conservation organizations dedicated to helping save species and generate awareness about what is impacting animals in the wild,” said Dan Ashe, President and CEO of AZA. “We believe the Kickstarter community is a natural fit to ‘invest in the nest,’ and more importantly, play a direct role in helping to save this species.
A dedication to species conservation is the reason behind why AZA and its members created AZA SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction®, a program that brings together the expertise and resources of AZA, its members, and partners to help save species from extinction. Establishing new artificial nests is a priority identified in the AZA SAFE African penguin conservation action plan, and necessary to help save African penguins.
“We’re always excited about campaigns that expand our worldview and actively contribute to innovation around the globe. Invest In The Nest is pushing boundaries in the practice of conservation and bringing optimism and direct action to the Kickstarter backer community,” says Clarissa Redwine, Kickstarter's Design and Technology Outreach Lead for the West Coast. "This conservation effort takes backers through the process of designing, building, and installing habitat structures that will help save endangered African penguins, helping Kickstarter backers play a vital part in protecting wildlife."
Supporters of the campaign won’t go away empty-handed. A variety of rewards is available for backing the Kickstarter campaign, including exclusive behind-the-scenes opportunities at some of the best aquariums and zoos in the country, as well as original penguin art, symbolic penguin adoption kits, t-shirts, totes, posters and more. Some additional, exclusive rewards will also be offered during the campaign.
In addition to the great rewards, Stonyfield, the country’s leading organic yogurt maker and a proud sponsor of AZA SAFE, is helping AZA reach its campaign goal by kicking in $30,000 toward the $150,000 goal. As part of Stonyfield’s year-long effort, they will not only be contributing funds to fieldwork, but will also aim to encourage kids and their families to see animals and conservation projects first hand at zoos and aquariums through an on-pack offer to get families out to visit AZA member zoos and aquariums in their communities. Now through the end of September, families who buy two YoKids® yogurt packs can visit azasafe.stonyfield.com to get a free kid’s admission to a participating AZA-accredited zoo or aquarium with the purchase of a full-price adult ticket.
“It isn’t often a cow has an opportunity to help save a penguin, but our support of AZA SAFE and its Kickstarter campaign really allows us to make a difference for these endangered animals,” said Natalie Levine, Stonyfield Brand Director. “By making sure this campaign gets off to a strong start, we aim to not only support the recovery of endangered African penguins, but also inspire others to do the same.”
If fully funded, the nests will be constructed by hand in South Africa, helping to create jobs for residents.
Additional background about the project, including information on the engineering and testing that went into developing the nests, can be found on the “Invest In The Nest” Kickstarter campaign page at https://www.aza.org/kickstarter/.
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 eight 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.
About SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction®
SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction combines the power of zoo and aquarium visitors with the resources and collective expertise of AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums and partners to save animals from extinction. Together we are working on saving the most vulnerable wildlife species from extinction and protecting them for future generations. To learn more, visit www.aza.org/aza-safe.
As the leading organic yogurt maker, Stonyfield takes care with everything it puts into its yogurts and everything it keeps out. By saying no to toxic persistent pesticides, artificial hormones, antibiotics and GMOs, Stonyfield has been saying yes to delicious, healthy food for more than 30 years. With their direct milk supply program, Stonyfield helps to grow the number of organic dairy farms in New England – and through their support of the Wolfe’s Neck Dairy Farmer training program, Stonyfield works to train the next generation of organic farmers. To learn more about all Stonyfield products and more, visit www.Stonyfield.com.
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