SAFE Stories

Image of the logo SAFE Saving Animals From ExtinctionThe Association of Zoos & Aquariums, with its member aquariums and zoos and a variety of partners, are taking action to save species through AZA SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction. SAFE combines the power of zoo and aquarium visitors with the resources and collective expertise of AZA members and partners, all focused on saving species. Our collective action will help save vulnerable wildlife species from extinction and protect them for future generations.


Category: In the news

AZA member The Living Desert raising awareness and funds for vaquita

The Palm Desert Patch reports: During La Gran Fiesta, The Living Desert will also be raising awareness of the plight of the vaquita, the world’s most endangered marine mammal. Current estimates state there are fewer than 60 of these small porpoise left in the northern Gulf of California. The vaquitas’ major threat is entanglement in fishing gillnets. As a way to help save the vaquita, attendees at La Gran Fiesta are invited to take part in the inaugural vaquita parade. Guests... Read More
Posted by Rob Vernon at Friday, October 7, 2016

Reid Park Zoo: Protecting the Vaquita

The vaquita, the smallest porpoise in the world, needs our help. In this KVOA/News 4 Tucson video, Reid Park Zoo’s Jed Dodds and Education Coordinator Jennifer discuss how the Zoo is helping the critically endangered species. Watch the video Read More
at Friday, September 23, 2016

Calgary Zoo restores whooping crane population with advanced techniques

From Metro News Calgary: Whooping cranes nearly vanished in the mid-1900s. Since then, the population has stabilized with the help of the Calgary Zoo and several other conservation centres across North America. So much so, that they were honoured by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums with the North American Conservation Award. But what is it that made the program so successful? Read more ... Read More
Posted by Rob Vernon at Friday, September 23, 2016

Oregon Zoo awarded for helping to save Western pond turtle

KATU-TV in Portland, Oregon, reports: The Oregon Zoo just got an award for working to save an endangered species. The zoo has been working with Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle to save the Western pond turtle. Read more... Read More
Posted by Rob Vernon at Friday, September 23, 2016

Western Pond Turtles get a head start

On August 12, 2016, Woodland Park Zoo staff and ZooCorps teens joined biologists and representatives from Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife at a protected recovery site to release 47 juvenile western pond turtles. The 47 turtles were collected from the wild as eggs and given a head start on life under the care of Woodland Park Zoo to improve their chance of survival in the wild. Once the turtles reach about 2 ounces—a suitable size to escape the mouths of invasive predatory... Read More
Posted by Rob Vernon at Friday, September 9, 2016

Whooping Crane Reintroduction Effort Shifts Direction

Wisconsin Public Radio reports: There's been a major change in Wisconsin's years-long experiment to help whooping cranes. Humans wearing crane costumes are no longer teaching young birds to fly behind ultra-light aircraft. Instead, crane chicks are mostly being raised by adult cranes, in hopes that years from now, the birds become better at reproducing in the wild. Read more ... Read More
Posted by Rob Vernon at Friday, September 9, 2016

Zoos and Aquariums Mobilize to Save the African Penguin from Extinction in the Wild

In his National Geographic Ocean Views blog post, Ric Urban, Newport Aquarium Chief Conservation Officer and AZA SAFE African Penguin Individual Identification Project Coordinator, writes about how AZA-accredited facilities are working to protect the future of African penguins: "One would think there is a problem putting these two words together “African & Penguin.”  Don’t penguins need snow and ice to survive?  Looking at the 18 species of... Read More
Posted by Nancy Ramos at Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Native endangered turtles head back to the wild August 12; State proclaims the week of August 7 as “Western Pond Turtle Recovery Project 25 - Year Anniversary”

The Woodland Park Zoo writes: "Once on the brink of extinction, the Western pond turtle--the only indigenous turtle in Puget Sound--is still here after 25 years...In celebration of 25 years of collaborative efforts to restore the population in Washington state, Governor Jay Inslee has proclaimed August 7-13, 2016 as the 'Western Pond Turtle Recovery Project 25-Year Anniversary.'" Read full article Read More
Posted by Rob Vernon at Thursday, August 11, 2016

Aquarium, marine group plan to tag sharks off LI this month

Newsday writes: "Most people flee from sharks, but biologist Jon Forrest Dohlin wants to play tag with them off Long Island. He will be observing as other researchers attach satellite and acoustic transmitters to as many sharks as they can find this month in a two-week expedition led by the New York Aquarium and Ocearch, the nonprofit behind the global shark tracker. They want to find out if sharks are making the waters here their nursery, their playground, their summer hangout and... Read More
Posted by Rob Vernon at Wednesday, August 10, 2016

One in Five Whooping Cranes Dies From Gunfire. Some Are Trying to Stop It.

Newsweek reports: Whooping cranes are majestic whie birds that stand 5 feet high, making them the tallest birds in North America. Due to hunting, their population dwindled to about 20 by the 1940s. But after coming perilously close to extinction, they've been helped back by the tremendous dedication of scientists and advocates with groups like the International Crane Foundation, based in Baraboo, Wisconsin. Read more ... Read More
Posted by Rob Vernon at Friday, August 5, 2016

Saving penguins in South Africa

In his blog post, Ric Urban, Newport Aquarium Chief Conservation Officer and AZA SAFE African Penguin Individual Identification Project Coordinator, writes about the involvement of several AZA-accredited facilities in African penguin conservation efforts in South Africa: " Our AZA African Penguin Tagging Team moves from the mainland to Robben Island. They’re spending 12 days in South Africa, tagging penguins and gathering data on Africa’s endangered penguins. The team includes... Read More
Posted by Rob Vernon at Friday, August 5, 2016

Scientists hope to restore Marin’s pond turtle population

Western pond turtle conservation efforts are featured in this Point Reyes Light article: "Seashore biotechnician Tim Bernot pulled out a telemetry receiver on a recent Thursday morning, listening to the metronome-like clicks as he drove a park truck to a ranch pond to check turtle traps. The pace of the clicks, sourced from emitters glued to a female pond turtle’s carapace, tells him when the turtle may be out of the water and on dry land—in other words, whether she might be... Read More
Posted by Rob Vernon at Thursday, August 4, 2016

Fresno Chaffee Zoo helping to restore tiny turtles to foothills

The Fresno Bee writes: "Fresno Chaffee Zoo is joining an effort to save Northern California’s only native turtles, which are dying off because non-native critters are taking their food and eating their eggs and young. The northern western pond turtle may be tiny – 8 to 10 inches long and less than 2 pounds fully grown – but it’s a big deal when it comes to research. Their range is from Washington state into California. A second species, which is struggling even... Read More
Posted by Rob Vernon at Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Celebrating Five Years of Cheetah Conservation…and the recipe for future success

The Endangered Wildlife Trust writes: "Cheetah once occurred in large and connected populations that stretched all the way from South Africa up to Egypt and westwards to Senegal. Today, these populations have become severely fragmented into 29 subpopulations, with only one population estimated to number more than 1000 individuals. This is in large part due to the rapid growth of the human population – in Africa, this population has increased from approximately 100 million people in... Read More
Posted by Jen Fields at Friday, July 29, 2016

Monterey Bay Aquarium joins fight to save endangered porpoise

An article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel highlights efforts helping to protect the vaquita: "The Monterey Bay Aquarium has joined the international fight to save the vaquita, the world’s smallest and most endangered porpoise. The 100-pound, 5-foot long, toothed whale only lives in the northern pocket of the Gulf of California, Mexico. Only 60 remain in the wild." Read full article Read More
Posted by Jen Fields at Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Living Desert's Director of Education Named Public Engagement Coordinator for the Cheetah Conservation Action Plan

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens writes: "The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens is proud to announce its director of education, Mike Chedester, has been appointed public engagement coordinator for the Saving Animals from Extinction (SAFE) Cheetah Conservation Action Plan. The SAFE program, initiated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), is an outreach plan that focuses the collective expertise of all accredited zoos and aquariums to leverage their large audiences, including... Read More
Posted by Jen Fields at Monday, July 25, 2016

What Do Penguin Keepers do on Summer Break?

The SeaWorld team writes in their blog post about collaborative efforts working to help African penguins: "This week a group of experts from the SeaWorld Busch Gardens Conservation Fund (SWBGCF), Maryland Zoo and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) traveled to South Africa to study African penguins, an endangered species, with the goal of tagging and tracking 10% of the wild population and 100% of all rescued, rehabilitated and released penguins. And you’re... Read More
Posted by Jen Fields at Friday, July 22, 2016

Shark Fin Sales Banned in Rhode Island

The Associated Press reports that Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo has signed into law a ban on selling shark fins. The law takes effect in January and makes it a crime in Rhode Island to own or sell a shark fin unless it's used for scientific research or in preparing a shark for ordinary consumption. Read more Read More
at Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Column: Let’s Talk About Birds: Saving African penguins from extinction

The National Aviary Education Team writes in a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette column : "African penguins are superheroes of the feathered variety. They have recently been named a signature species for SAFE: Saving Animals from Extinction, a program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The program harnesses the collective power of all AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums, like the National Aviary, to support conservation programs for 10 specific critically endangered species, including the... Read More
at Wednesday, May 11, 2016

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