SAFE Member-Sponsored Species

What Are SAFE Member-Sponsored Species Programs?

SAFE Member-sponsored Species programs protect threatened animals; build on established recovery plans and track records of commitment; prioritize collaboration among AZA member institutions; implement both strategic conservation and public engagement activities; and measure and report real conservation. 

Eligibility Criteria 

(AZA Board-accepted, July 2016)

  • Be threatened with extinction
  • Has an established conservation plan (e.g., recovery plan, PHVA action plan, etc.) in place.
  • Two or more AZA-accredited zoos or aquariums or certified related facilities have an established commitment for conducting/supporting active conservation work on this species for a minimum of two years.
  • If accepted as a SAFE Member-Sponsored Species, the consortium agrees to:
    • Develop a three-year Program Plan for SAFE activities that includes measurable field conservation and public engagement objectives that will advance the established conservation plan.
    • Increase member involvement in the conservation of the species.
    • Follow the SAFE Member-Sponsored Species Processes and Protocols.

Get Involved!

Download an application today! AZA will be testing the SMSS application by reviewing the first 5-10 applications submitted to AZA’s Conservation and Science department prior to May 30, 2017. Early applicants will be asked to evaluate their SMSS application experience and the resources provided. Review of additional applications will resume in late summer, 2017. Contact AZA’s Conservation and Science Department with questions.

Program Leaders

The Program Leader position holds important responsibilities critical to the success of AZA’s SAFE Member-sponsored Species programs. His or her primary responsibility is to work AZA partners to create a three-year Program Plan that includes measurable field conservation and public engagement actions, and that will engage additional collaborators over time. Programs Leaders will be individual members of AZA, as well as full-time, paid employees of an AZA-accredited zoo or aquarium or certified related facility. Program Leaders should submit Statements of Individual Commitment and Institutional Support with the program application and be able be able to commit to the three-year position duration.

Approved SAFE Member-Sponsored Species

Liza Dadone, VMD, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
Kristen Lukas, PhD, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Approved: February 10, 2017
Program Plan Due August 10, 2017


Find a Zoo or Aquarium Donate to AZA Contact Us Member Login Search the site