Last week, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the largest of the three North American zoo associations, announced the recipients of its Conservation Grants Fund (formerly the Conservation Endowment Fund) at its annual conference in Salt Lake City hosted by the Hogle Zoo. The AZA launched the fund in 1984 to support conservation research and education initiatives of member institutions and collaborating major NGOs, state, federal and/or international wildlife agencies.
Since the early 90’s, the AZA has awarded 7 million dollars to more than 375 projects with awards averaging approximately $18,000 per recipient. These include efforts to conserve species both in captivity and in the wild. In 1999, the Walt Disney World Company began contributing substantially to the Conservation Grant Fund, which allocates resources to projects in one or more of the following categories:
- Animal Health
- Animal Welfare
- Conservation Education
- Field Conservation and/or Reintroduction
- Management and/or Breeding
Two projects of note, which were awarded funding this year, address human-wildlife conflict. One focuses attention on reducing human-carnivore conflict in Tanzania and another on reducing human-elephant conflict in Myanmar.
“AZA’s Conservation Grants Fund provides support to AZA members who are scientists, wildlife experts and educators working to expand our knowledge of wildlife biology, reproduction, welfare, health, and the threats animals face in their natural ranges, while also actively working in the field and with communities around the world to address these threats,” said AZA Senior Vice President of Conservation and Science, Dr. Debborah Luke. “As a result of their work, we are all better positioned to help ensure the future of threatened and endangered species.”
Eighteen projects were awarded funding this year for a total of 370,000 dollars.
Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal welfare, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and seven other countries. Look for the AZA accreditation logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in saving species and your link to helping animals all over the world. To learn more, visit http://www.aza.org
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