William G. Conway International Conservation Award

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums names conservation as its highest priority, and recognizes exceptional efforts by AZA Institution, Related Facility, or Conservation Partner members toward habitat preservation, species restoration, and support of biodiversity in the wild through its Conservation Award.

If there is any question as to what constitutes an eligible project, please email Rob Vernon or call (301) 244-3352.

How to Submit an Application 

2022 application materials are available below. Applications are due June 1, 2022.
Past recipients' application materials are available below.  

All Honors and Awards applications must be submitted in electronic format ONLY and must be compiled into one PDF file. Please make sure the file name reflects both the award name and the institution.

Please upload your file to the AZA Dropbox link in the Application document below. Your file will go to the AZA Dropbox account, but you do not need to sign in, or even have a Dropbox account to use this link—when it opens, just click on the “choose files” box and upload your application.

Remember to submit a Media Release Form (DOC) with your application.

William G. Conway International Conservation Award Recipients

See past recipients' application materials (member login required)


Top Honors
Houston Zoo, Naples Zoo and Caribbean Gardens, and SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment for Giant Armadillo Conservation Project


Top Honors
Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Proyecto Tití for Collaborating to Conserve Cotton-top Tamarins

Significant Achievement
North Carolina Zoo and the Wildlife Conservation Society for Southern Tanzania Vulture Monitoring and Conservation


Top Honors
Monterey Bay Aquarium for The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program

Significant Achievement
Health in Harmony for Saving Orangutan Habitat by Providing Healthcare


20 Year Achievement in Conservation Award
Disney's Animal Kingdom and The Seas with Nemo & Friends for Disney Conservation Fund: Saving Wildlife. Inspiring Action. Protecting the Planet.

Top Honors
Minnesota Zoo, Houston Zoo and North Carolina Zoo for Scaling Up Community-based Rhino Conservation in Namibia

Significant Achievement
Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens, Columbus Zoo & Aquarium, Dallas Zoo, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Houston Zoo, Nashville Zoo, San Diego Zoo Global, and White Oak Conservation Center for Over Three Decades of Protecting the Endangered Okapi and Its Habitat

Significant Achievement
Houston Zoo, Columbus Zoo & Aquarium, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens, and Nashville Zoo for The Lowland Tapir Conservation Initiative, Brazil

North Carolina Zoo and Wildlife Conservation Society for The Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) project helps to protect species around the world


Top Honors
Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International along with Zoo Atlanta, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Dallas Zoo, Louisville Zoo, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Indianapolis Zoo, Oklahoma City Zoo, Birmingham Zoo, San Diego Zoo Global, for Saving one of the world's most charismatic species: Fifty years of conserving eastern gorillas

Significant Achievement
Zoological Society of Milwaukee for Bonobo & Congo Biodiversity Initiative


Top Honors
Disney's Animal Kingdom, Dallas Zoo, Detroit Zoological Society, Houston Zoo, Jacksonville Zoo, Los Angeles Zoo, Nashville Zoo, Sedgwick County Zoo, and Utah's Hogle Zoo for Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education (GRACE) Center

Significant Achievement
John G. Shedd Aquarium for Conservation of Bahamian rock iguanas

Wildlife Emergency Response 
Turtle Conservancy for Crisis in the Philippines: International Collaboration to Save a Turtle from Imminent Extinction


Top Honors
Saint Louis Zoo & many more for AZA Zoos Giving Voice to the Sahara: Sahara Conservation Fund (SCF) as a model for a zoo-driven conservation movement. The following collaborators share this award with Saint Louis Zoo: Abilene Zoo, Audubon Nature Institute, Blank Park Zoo, Brevard Zoo, Bronx Zoo, Buffalo Zoo, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Calgary Zoo, Chicago Zoological Society - Brookfield Zoo, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Dickerson Park Zoo, Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, Fresno Chaffee Zoo, Houston Zoo, Inc., John Ball Zoo, Kansas City Zoo, Lee Richardson Zoo, Lehigh Valley Zoo, Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, Milwaukee County Zoological Gardens, Minnesota Zoological Garden, Nashville Zoo, North Carolina Zoo, Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, Oregon Zoo, Philadelphia Zoo, Phoenix Zoo, Potawatomi Zoo, Rolling Hills Zoo, Sacramento Zoo, Safari West Wildlife Preserve, San Antonio Zoo, San Diego Zoo Global, San Francisco Zoo, Sedgwick County Zoo, Smithsonian National Zoological Park, The Living Desert, Toledo Zoo, Tulsa Zoo, Utah's Hogle Zoo, White Oak Conservation Center, Woodland Park Zoo, Zoo Atlanta, Zoo Boise, Zoo Miami, Zoo New England

Significant Achievement
North Carolina Zoo and Wildlife Conservation Society for Successful Conservation of the Critically Endangered Cross River Gorilla


Top Honors
Woodland Park Zoo and collaborators for Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program in Papua New Guinea. The following collaborators share this award with Woodland Park Zoo: Brevard Zoo, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Gladys Porter Zoo, Milwaukee County Zoological Gardens, Minnesota Zoological Garden, Oregon Zoo, Riverbanks Zoo & Garden, Roger Williams Park Zoo, Saint Louis Zoo, San Diego Zoo, Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo, Sedgwick County Zoo, Smithsonian National Zoological Park, Zoo New England


Top Honors
Lincoln Park Zoo for Serengeti Health Initiative

Significant Achievement

  • Bronx Zoo and Toledo Zoo for The Kihansi Spray Toad: A Cooperative Venture to Re-establish an Extinct-in-the-Wild Species
  • Minnesota Zoo for Science-based Management of Rhino Conservation and Tourism on Namibia's Communal Lands


Top Honors

  • San Diego Zoo Global, Smithsonian National Zoological Park, Memphis Zoo, Zoo Atlanta for Giant Pandas and their Habitat
  • Saint Louis Zoo for Grevy's Zebra Trust and AZA: A Model of Collaborative Endangered Species Collaboration. The following collaborators share this award with Saint Louis Zoo: Brevard Zoo, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Chicago Zoological Society, Cleveland Zoo, Dallas Zoo, Denver Zoo, Detroit Zoo, Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund and Rapid Relief Fund, Fresno Chaffee Zoo, White Oak Conservation Center, Jackson Zoo, Jacksonville Zoo, Los Angeles Zoo, Living Desert, Oklahoma City Zoo, Oregon Zoo, Phoenix Zoo, Reid Park Zoo (Zoo Teens Program), Riverbanks Zoo, Sacramento Zoo, Safari West, San Diego Zoo Global, SeaWorld / Busch Gardens, Sedgwick County Zoo, Toronto Zoo, Utah's Hogle Zoo


Top Honors
Zoo Society of Milwaukee — Bonobo and Congo Biodiversity Initiative


Top Honors

  • Houston Zoo, Inc. — El Valle Amphibian Conservation Center (EVACC)
  • Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo — Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership


Top Honors
Lincoln Park Zoo — Gombe Ecosystem Health Project


Top Honors
New England Aquarium — Phoenix Islands Protected Area

Significant Achievement

  • North Carolina Zoo — Cameroon Elephant Tracking and Conservation Project
  • Wildlife Conservation Society, Lincoln Park Zoo, Woodland Park Zoo, Reid Park Zoo, Kansas City Zoo, Indianapolis Zoo, Roger Williams Park Zoo, Jacksonville Zoo, Milwaukee Zoo — Tarangire Elephant Project


Top Honors
Fort Worth Zoo, San Diego Zoo, Wildlife Conservation Society / Bronx Zoo, Zoo Atlanta, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo — Strategic Partnership For Asian Turtle Conservation 2007 Significant Achievement Denver Zoological Foundation — Mongolian Wildlife Conservation Program


Top Honors
Kinabatangan Orangutan Conservation Project — Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Significant Achievement
Philippines Biodiversity Conservation Program — Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden (USA); Columbus Zoo and Aquarium (USA); Dallas Zoological Society (USA); Oklahoma City Zoological Park (USA); West of England Zoological Society (Bristol Zoo, UK.); Decin Zoo (Germany); Dresden Zoo (Germany); Gessellschaft zum Schutz der Eulen e.V. (Society for Conservation and Research of Owls); Landau Zoo (Germany); Loro Parque Fundacion (Tenerife, Spain); Melbourne Zoo (Australia); North of England Zoological Society (Chester Zoo, U.K.); Parc Zoologique et Botanique de la Ville de Mulhouse (Mulhouse Zoo, France); Rotterdam Zoo (Netherlands)


Top Honors
Minnesota Zoo — Sumatran Tiger Conservation Program


Top Honors
Rodrigues Fruit Bat Conservation Program — The Philadelphia Zoo, Oregon Zoo, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Woodland Park Zoo, Roger Williams Park Zoo, Blank Park Zoo, John Ball Zoo, Riverbanks Zoo, Folsom Children's Zoo, Biodome de Montreal


Top Honors
Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program — Roger Williams Park Zoo, Calgary Zoological Society, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Gladys Porter Zoo, Kangaroo Conservation Center, Miami Metro Zoo, Milwaukee County Zoo, Oregon Zoo, Philadelphia Zoo, Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium, Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, San Antonio Zoo, Santa Fe Community Teaching College, Woodland Park Zoo, Zoological Society of San Diego


Top Honors
BIOANDINA: Conserving High Andes Habitat in Venezuela — Cleveland Metroparks Zoo


Top Honors

  • Jamaican Iguana Conservation & Recovery Program — Fort Worth Zoo, San Diego Zoo, Indianapolis Zoo, Audubon Institute, Sedgwick County Zoo, Tulsa Zoo, Toledo Zoo, Central Florida Zoo, Columbus Zoo, Woodland Park Zoo, Gladys Porter Zoo and the Milwaukee County Zoo
  • ADOPT SAP: Sapo National Park, Libera, West Africa — Philadelphia Zoo
I Accept

This site uses cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. If you continue using our website, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on this website and you agree to our Privacy Policy.