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)
Since 2018, ARTIS has been supporting Operation Jaguar to combat poaching and illegal trade in jaguars (Panthera onca) in Latin America. With the drastic decrease in tiger populations, jaguars have become an alternative for poachers to provide feline teeth, bones and other body parts to black markets mostly in Asia.
In collaboration with IUCN NL, IFAW and Earth League International, their activities include helping local conservationists, going undercover within the criminal networks to expose them, putting pressure on policymakers to combat these illegal processes and training the police.
One of the ways to help make smuggling of products difficult is the use of detection dogs at airports. Due to corona, air traffic stopped, so the new dogs could not be trained with intercepted contraband. Artis provided a solution to the trainers of Scent Imprint Conservation Dogs: blankets that had spent some time in the jaguars' enclosure in the zoo as well as their poo and urine. The dogs could be familiarized with the scent of the felines and will be operational as soon as air traffic starts again!
This is one of the many examples of partnerships made possible when zoological institutions become members of their national or regional IUCN networks.
Visit the EAZA Conservation Database to find out more.