Association of Zoos and Aquariums

Saving Animals From Extinction

AZA SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction focuses the collective expertise within our accredited zoos and aquariums and leverages their massive audiences to save species. At the same time, SAFE will build capacity to increase direct conservation spending, as well as our members’ impact on saving species through work in the field, in our zoos and aquariums, and through public engagement. We have done it before. Some species exist only because of the efforts of aquariums and zoos and our partners.

Conservation action

Through AZA SAFE, AZA and its members are convening scientists and stakeholders to identify the threats, develop action plans, raise new resources and engage the public. AZA SAFE harnesses the collective power of all AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums and invites you to join the effort. Donate to AZA SAFE

Public engagement

Utilizing the power of AZA members, visitors to member aquariums and zoos, and our partners and donors, we are creating a movement for conservation that will increase public participation in conservation actions and increase public awareness around the conservation work already being done, as well as the evolving role of AZA facilities. Learn more

Wildlife care expertise

Across the 233 AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums, we have more wildlife care experts, more animals and a greater opportunity to engage the public than any other entity. We have three-quarters of a million animals representing 6,000 species, with close to 1,000 of them endangered in the wild.

AZA SAFE will focus on 10 signature species: African penguin, Asian elephant, black rhinoceros, cheetah, gorilla, sea turtle, sharks, vaquita, Western pond turtle, and whooping crane.

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African Penguin

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Asian Elephant

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Black Rhinoceros

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Sea Turtle

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Shark and Ray

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Western Pond Turtle

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Whooping Crane

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In 2015, the AZA-accredited zoo and aquarium community identified 10 SAFE Signature Species on which to focus planning and conservation action. Since that time, experts from the AZA zoological community, non-profit conservation organizations, and government agencies, have gathered for strategic meetings to identify current population threats and the conservation actions needed to address them. SAFE Conservation Action Plans have been developed for the African penguin, cheetah, western pond turtle, sharks, and vaquita. These plans include 36 critically important conservation projects with more to come. Some are already underway in the field. Learn more

Consumers are able to take direct action in AZA SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction by participating with our corporate partner, Stonyfield Organics, or by downloading AZA's app TailsUp! Learn more 

AZA SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction® is the right program at the right time. AZA-accredited facilities have a unique responsibility and opportunity to help slow species declines and extinction. With scientific expertise, animals and more access to the public than other conservation organizations, AZA-accredited facilities are working with conservation partners to take a leadership role in saving animals from extinction. The 2016 SAFE Annual Report provides insight into the progress made by AZA members over the year, as well as a sense of the potential of SAFE. 


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