EAZA members work from the assumption that we can, and are obliged, to do whatever is possible to protect nature, both in the field and in our institutions
In recent years, our effect on the planet has been devastating, with a massive decline in animal numbers and habitats across the globe. EAZA has never believed that keeping animals in our institutions replaces action in the wild - but experience also shows us that the knowledge and finance that we and our visitors can provide to field conservation projects can make a huge difference. EAZA believes that zoos and aquariums form one pillar of the structure that is needed to safeguard the future.
Our approach to species conservation, called the One Plan approach, recognises that zoos and in situ conservationists need not only to work together to protect animals, but also to engage the public of their communities to take the lead in demanding action from authorities, governments, corporations and themselves so that together we can reduce the stress on endangered species and their habitats.
In short, EAZA believes that the future of nature depends on all of us; and that EAZA zoos and aquariums can act as a portal for their local communities into conservation across the world.
The EAZA Conservation Database is an online tool to facilitate communication on conservation efforts of our members within as well as outside of the zoo and aquarium community. Each month we highlight one of the projects or activities from the database. Click here to visit the EAZA Conservation Database (Members only)
When GaiaZOO reopened in 2005, the new zoological director became the EEP Coordinator for the African painted dog (Lycaon pictus). To participate also to the in situ conservation of the species, Gaia Nature Fund, later joined by other EAZA Members*, decided to sponsor the Painted Dog Conservation (PDC) Project in Zimbabwe.
The PDC project has a broad approach focusing both on animals and local communities and each year is dedicated to a new focal area. Their activities have ranged from rescuing and rehabilitating orphaned painted dogs to training sniffing dogs to help the anti-poaching units.
Gaia Zoo’s support has for example allowed children to participate to PDC’s educational bush camps. They also donated materials to schools, uniforms to the project employees and facilitated an international PDC symposium.
Last year, when many sponsors had to pull back their donations due to the pandemic-caused financial crisis and when poachers were more active than ever, Gaia Nature Fund donated extra money to support the work of anti-poaching units.
To read more about the project, visit the EAZA Conservation Database.
*Contributors 2019-20: Antwerp Zoo, Berlin Zoo and Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde, North of England Zoological Society (Chester Zoo), Copenhagen Zoo, Beauval Zoo, Lisbon Zoo, Basel Zoo, Doue-la-Fontaine Zoo, Wuppertal Zoo, Leipzig Zoo, Wroclaw Zoo