WAZA: 10 Years of Success in Conserving Biodiversity

Date: 2010/10/18


New evidence confirms that Zoos and Aquariums are making significant contribution to conserving threatened species


Gland, Switzerland: New evidence confirms that Zoos and Aquariums are making significant contribution to conserving threatened species and their habitats in biodiversity rich regions of the world. WAZA (World Association of Zoos and Aquariums) releases the results of the first global appraisal of the WAZA  conservation project scheme as part of its 65th Annual Conference in Cologne, Germany, from October 17th-21st, 2010.


‘United for Conservation', the world's Zoos and Aquariums have long been recognized for their captive breeding programmes.  But claims that these activities feed into their ultimate goal of wild species and habitat conservation have often been criticized as superficial and ineffective public relations. This first global appraisal demonstrates that WAZA members' international conservation efforts are not publicity stunts.  Zoos and Aquariums provide essential financial support to international conservation projects.  60% of the projects Zoos and Aquariums fund would be impossible without their support. To magnify this impact in the future, Zoos and Aquariums should spend more and pool their resources together.


 "IUCN recognizes the crucial partnership role of WAZA's members in conserving biodiversity," says Julia Marton-Lefèvre, IUCN Director General. "From ensuring the survival of endangered species in the wild, to providing expertise and investment of over US$350 million each year to field projects worldwide,  international conservation efforts should build on the vast potential that WAZA members can offer."


In 1993, WAZA published the first World Zoo Conservation Strategy in partnership with the IUCN Species Survival Commission's Conservation Breeding Specialist Group.  Since then, WAZA has been refining how the international Zoo and Aquarium community can become fully engaged in the collective global conservation movement.  One of the main goals in creating the WAZA conservation project scheme was to bring awareness to the international conservation efforts of its Zoo and Aquarium members.


"10 years after the inception of the WAZA conservation project scheme here in Cologne, it is a great pleasure for WAZA to be able to quantify the vital role of Zoos and Aquariums in conserving biodiversity and to celebrate conservation successes, says Gerald Dick, Executive Director, WAZA. "The global appraisal clearly indicates that the involvement of WAZA members led to positive conservation impact in the field and makes key recommendations as to how to enhance our contribution in the future."


WAZA Media Release_EN (PDF) 

WAZA Media Release_DE (PDF)


Notes to Editors_English (PDF)

Notes to Editors / Hinweise für Redakteure_Deutsch (PDF)



WAZA branded Projects around the world (PDFs)

Amur Leopard

Vietnamese mossy frog (Theloderma bicolor) - Cologne Zoo 

Proboscis monkey (Nasalis larvatus) - Wildlife Reserves Singapore

image of Langur (copyright Thomas Ziegler)

Numbat (Myrmecobius fasciatus) - Perth Zoo

Przewalski’s horse (Equus ferus przewalskii)

Grevy’s zebra (Equus grevyi) - Saint Louis Zoo


> to overview

  • Notes to Editors

    The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) is a global organisation that harmonises the principles, policies, practices and strategy of over 1,300 leading zoos and aquariums.  WAZA is the unifying representative of the global zoo and aquarium community and works in partnership with IUCN, national governments and non-governmental organisations to ensure high standards of animal welfare and to achieve conservation in zoos and aquariums (ex situ) and in nature (in situ).