SAFE Signature Species

AZA SAFE Signature Species

SAFE uses a unique collaborative process which incorporates a wide-range of species-specific expertise from AZA members and non-government and government partners to identify the conservation actions needed to protect SAFE Signature species. SAFE 3-year Conservation Action Plans (CAPs) are then developed which include science-based conservation projects that have been agreed upon and prioritized by the stakeholders. SAFE then utilizes an adaptive management strategy and the Open Standards for Conservation Practice to maintain the collaborative process and secure  a dynamic and robust process for using project results to inform future decisions.

Ten inaugural SAFE Signature Species have been identified including the African penguin, Asian elephant, black rhinoceros, cheetah, gorillas, sea turtles, sharks and rays, vaquita, Western pond turtle, and whooping crane. Click on each species below to learn more:

African Penguin

Asian Elephant

Black Rhinoceros



Sea Turtle

Shark and Ray


Western Pond Turtle

Whooping Crane

Vaquita photo credit Paula Olson, permit Oficio No. DR/488/08 from the Secretaria de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT)

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