In 2010, AZA-accredited institutions provided $130 million in support of approximately 2,000 conservation projects in more than 100 countries. Additionally, zoo and aquarium scientists contribute to hundreds of conservation, biology, and veterinary science publications.
AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums are leaders in the protection of endangered species. Twenty years ago, AZA established the Species Survival Plan Program™ (SSP), which is a long-term plan involving conservation breeding, habitat preservation, public education, field conservation, and supportive research to ensure survival for many of the planet's threatened and endangered species. Currently, AZA members are involved in 319 SSPs working on behalf of 590 species.
Highly-trained staff at AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums are providing excellent care for more than 800,000 animals. As part of AZA's mandatory accreditation process, AZA members meet rigorous professional standards for animal welfare, veterinary care, wildlife conservation, scientific research, education, expert staffing, and safety. Read more about AZA's accreditation standards.
AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums enhance local and regional economies, collectively generating more than $16 billion in annual economic activity and supporting more than 142,000 jobs.
In the last 10 years, AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums formally trained more than 400,000 teachers, supporting science curricula with effective teaching materials and hands-on opportunities. School field trips annually connect more than 12,000,000 students with the natural world.
In 2011, the 222 zoos and aquariums accredited by the AZA attracted more than 175 million visitors. Approximately 50 million visitors were children, making accredited zoos and aquariums some of the best places for families to connect with nature and each other.
As centers for conservation involvement, AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums offer the public a great way to discover connections to their environment and to learn how they can make a difference in conservation. Annually, more than 60,000 people invest over 3,000,000 hours supporting their communities by volunteering at local zoos and aquariums.
Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) is a nonprofit 501c(3) organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science, and recreation. Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting an institution dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things.
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