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. Click here to visit the EAZA Conservation Database (Members only)
Interested in what projects, species and activities have been supported by EAZA Members and where these take place? The EAZA Conservation Map uses information from the EAZA Conservation Database to provide visitors of our website an insight. Click on the map to explore it! Functionalities within the EAZA Conservation Map are continually improving as our Members are making their information available over time.
The information represented in the EAZA Conservation Map is based on information provided by EAZA Members in the EAZA Conservation Database and believed to be reliable. EAZA makes a diligent effort to provide a complete and accurate representation of the data in reports, publications, and services. However, EAZA does not guarantee the accuracy, adequacy, or completeness of any information. EAZA disclaims all liability for errors or omissions that may exist and shall not be liable for any incidental, consequential, or other damages (whether resulting from negligence or otherwise) including, without limitation, exemplary damages or lost profits arising out of or in connection with the use of this information. No part of information gathered from the EAZA Conservation Map may be reproduced for use in hard copy, machine-readable or other forms without advance written permission from EAZA and the EAZA Members from which the information originates.
Since 1986, Riga Zoo in collaboration with the Nature conservation agency of Latvia has been rescuing animal casualties, such as grey seals (Halichoerus grypus). Seal pups are often stranded on the shores of the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Riga. Between 1983 and 2017, 138 seal pups were brought to the zoo, of which 66 were rehabilitated successfully: released back to the sea, sent to other zoos or included in the zoo’s group.
Since 2019, Riga Zoo and the Oceanosphera research group of the University of Murcia (Spain) have been studying the pollution of the Gulf of Riga using samples of the grey seal pups they encounter on the shores. Led by Dr. Di Marzio, science lead of Riga Zoo, in collaboration with the zoo's vets, the team collects samples from both live animals (fur and blood) and dead specimens (liver, kidney, fat, muscle, brain, bone). In Murcia, the researchers analyse the level of polluting substances, such as trace elements and persistent organic pollutants, present in the samples.
These studies are important, because the Baltic Sea is among the marine ecosystems with the highest reported pollutant concentrations globally. The Gulf of Riga is one of the least studied areas of the Baltic Sea. These results can be used as an early monitoring system of threats to humans living in the area. This is in line with the “One Health Approach”, which is based on the notion that humans, animals and ecosystems are closely interlinked, and the health of either one influences the health of the other.
In combination with the ecotoxicological study, Riga Zoo has also done GPS tracking of released seals that proves their ability to return to the wild. Many pups need to be rescued due to human disturbance; therefore, public education campaigns to promote seal friendly behaviours are another vital part of ensuring the best chance of survival for this beautiful species.
Find here the latest achievements of the projects highlighted in 2022 for the Conservation Database Snapshots. For a better view, click on the image. For more information about our Members' conservation work, visit our Conservation map.