The EAZA Conservation Forum 2018 will be hosted by Tallinn Zoo (Estonia) from 22-25 May

The furtherance of wildlife conservation has become the predominant objective of EAZA and its members. It's now clear that the zoo and aquarium community's role in conservation extends far beyond helping to save endangered species through ex situ breeding programmes. Through their links with in situ projects many members of EAZA are active in the conservation of habitats and entire ecosystems. The EAZA Conservation Forum is a biennial event bringing together over 100 representatives of zoos and aquariums, conservation organisations and in situ conservation projects for three days of workshops, presentations and other activities.

From 22 – 25 May 2018, the EAZA Conservation Forum will be hosted by Tallinn Zoo in Estonia. This event is SOLD OUT, unfortunately we can no longer accept registrations.  For questions about registrations please contact

As Estonia is celebrating its 100th birthday next year, the celebratory events draw large crowds to Estonia at peak tourist seasons - we therefore recommend to book your flights and hotels as early as possible. Please note that the number of rooms at our partner hotels is limited. The conference venue can hold 140 people maximum, when this number of registrations has been reached the event will be sold out. The excellent homepage will help you with many questions, including information about history, sightseeing, city transport, events, restaurants, accommodation, hospitals, free WIFI spots, etc. There is also a good map with many layers you might be interested in and a journey planner, which is really handy if you need to reach somewhere using public transport. 

On this page you will find lots of information about Estonia, Tallinn and Tallinn Zoo. For information about the conference programme, registration, accommodation and travel please follow this link

 The EAZA Conservation Forum 2016 was hosted by Fuengirola Zoo, information about this past event can be found by clicking here

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  • Estonia connects the dots between Scandinavia, Central Europe and what lies to the east

You can fly, sail, ride or drive to Estonia from anywhere in Europe. Located in north-eastern Europe, this small coastal country is a short ferry trip away from Finland and Sweden, a coach ride away from such European capitals as Warsaw and Berlin, and an overnight train from Saint Petersburg will land you at the heart of Tallinn.

  • Estonia's capital Tallinn is the best preserved medieval city in Northern Europe

Estonia's UNESCO world heritage capital city Tallinn was granted city rights in the 13th century by the King of Denmark. Since then, the streets of Tallinn have seen many world powers, from the Danes and Swedes to Germans, and tsarist and Soviet Russia. Tallinn Old Town is filled with medieval houses and alleyways and is still protected by the remnants of the city wall. 

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 The wealth of architecture in Tallinn means that there are many legends and stories to explore. 

  • Estonia speaks Estonian... as well as English, Russian, Finnish and German

Estonians tend to be at least bilingual, and according to recent studies, are among the best English speakers in Europe. Many visitors tend to think that Estonians speak elvish. This magical sounding language is in fact Estonian, belonging to the Finno-Ugric branch of European languages.

  • Estonia is about 50% forest

Estonians love their forests, bogs and all the creatures that live there such as lynx, brown bear, wolf, fox, rabbit, and deer. It's right to say that Estonians come with a tree hugging trait. More than 18,5% of Estonian lands and 22,2% of waters are protected in various levels by state.  There are 5 national parks, 152 protected areas and over 700 other 

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reserved in Estonia. More than 2800 sacred groves are still preserved in the country.

  •  Estonia has over 2000 islands

Estonia is the only Baltic country with far-stretching and deep rooted island culture. Although mostly uninhabited, Estonian islands tend to be rural, with some holding traces of local Viking and medieval culture.

  • Estonia has a population of just 1.3 million but is larger than Denmark and Holland

Being among the least densely populated countries in Europe, Estonia makes for a great nature and city break destination for those looking to stretch out their limbs and enjoy some peace and solitude. 

  • Estonian Song Celebration dates back to 1869, attracting thousands of singers in every 5 years

Estonian Song and Dance Celebration is the local signature

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event and a reason why Estonians are often referred to as the "singing nation". The uniqueness of this mesmerising event has even earned the song and dance celebration a place at UNESCO's prestigious list of Intangible Cultural Heritage. 

  • Estonia is one of the least religious countries in the world

While Estonia has a great range of historical churches, only over a quarter of the population are affiliated with a particular religion, with Lutheranism being most prevalent.

  • Estonia is a digital society

From voting to signing documents online, Estonia implements hassle free and modern approach to running one's errands. This means less bureaucracy, while adding more transparency and efficiency in some vital sectors such as healthcare and education. 


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Tallinn, Capital of Estonia

Tallinn is the capital and largest town of Estonia. It is situated on the northern coast of the country, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, 80 km (50 mi) south of Helsinki, east of Stockholm and west of Saint Petersburg. Tallinn's Old Town is nowadays one of the best preserved and intact medieval cities in Europe and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It's one of the main tourist attractions in Tallinn with its narrow cobblestone streets, red-tile roofed medieval buildings, mostly-intact city wall with guard towers, and grandiose churches.

Historical meeting point

Ever since the days of Viking traders Tallinn has been a meeting point for various cultures and nations, so visitors coming from any direction are bound to find something familiar, and something exotic, when they explore the city. Estonia's various rulers – Danish, Livonian, German, Swedish and Russian – have each left their mark on Tallinn's landscape, and their influence can be found reflected in the city's architecture, art and even its restaurant cuisine.

City of culture

Estonia loves to showcase its rich culture, especially the traditional mass singing events that define the soul of the nation. Chief among these is the Estonian Song and Dance Celebration, held every five years, which involves as many as 37,000 performers and attracts over 200,000 spectators. There are also a number of major annual events to see including Tallinn Music Week, the Jazzkaar International Jazz Festival, Old Town Days, Medieval Days, Tallinn Maritime Days, Birgitta Festival, Tallinn Marathon, Black Nights Film Festival and the Simple Session skateboard and BMX competition. Read more about Tallinn Cultural Highlights.

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Close and compact

Tallinn is easy to reach – just a two-  to three-hour flight from most European capitals – and once you arrive, getting into town is a snap. Lennart Meri International Airport is only 4 km from the city centre, putting it just ten minutes away from the downtown hotels. The ferry terminals and train station are also located a short distance from the Medieval Old Town. Thanks to its small size and compact layout, Tallinn is easy to explore on foot, eliminating the headaches of bus transfers and taxi rides.


Tallinn is widely recognised as one of the world’s most technology-oriented cities, offering a range of cutting-edge solutions from e-residency to mobile parking. Free Wi-Fi is available just about everywhere, including hotel rooms, conference centres, restaurants, cafés, and even public squares and parks (a map of free Wi-Fi hotspots hosted by the City of Tallinn is available here). The city also hosts a dynamic business community, of which tech plays a major part. Tallinn, for example, is home to the world development headquarters of Skype.

Green city

For fresh air and relaxation, Tallinn is hard to beat. This small, relatively quiet city boasts an impressive 40 km2 of parks and forests, and has a beautiful, 2-km stretch of sand beach bordering its bay. Visitors can stroll along well-developed seaside promenades, explore the natural beauty of suburban bog trails, take sailing trips to nearby islands or even hit the links at a neighbouring golf course.

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Tallinn Zoo

Tallinn Zoo, established in 1939, is the only large zoo in Estonia. It is located at beautiful Veskimetsa (Mill Forest) natural park-forest near the coast of the Baltic sea and is home to more than 13,800 animals from some 560 species or subspecies from all over the world. The collection is well-known by its great diversity of wild goat and sheep species, as well as a remarkable number of eagles and vultures, and an excellent selection of owls and cranes. The biggest attraction for the local public are elephants, black rhinos, and pygmy hippos, as well as big cats such as Amur tigers and leopards, Asian lions, and snow leopards. The zoo attracts more than 360 000 visitors yearly (in a country with a population of ca 1,3 million inhabitants.

Tallinn Zoo is the coordinator of ESB of East Caucasian tur (Capra caucasica cylindricornis) and EEP of European mink (Mustela lutreola). Tallinn Zoos Species Conservation Lab maintains, off-exhibit for conservation, more than half of the world's captive population of the critically endangered European mink (ca. 100 individuals). Tallinn Zoo, in collaboration with foundation Lutreola, has been heading the programme for the establishment of a safe European mink wild population in Hiiumaa Island (1000 km2) for 20 years. Today we can confidently say that our efforts have been crowned with success – there is now a breeding wild population on the island.

Recent innovations at the Zoo include the opening of the Environmental Education Centre in 2014, providing us with new opportunities for development of all kinds of educational and informational activities; the construction of a new polar bear enclosure, which will be opened in October 2017, making it possible to move our animals to a modern facility from the current enclosures adjusted from an old Soviet military warehouse; and the rebuilding of the breeding facility of the Species Conservation Lab in 2016-2017.

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EAZA Conservation Forum 2018, organised by European Association of Zoos and Aquaria and hosted by Tallinn Zoo on May 22-25, 2018, is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The total grant is up to €26,787,20.
The aim of the EAZA Conservation Forum is to provide a platform for ex situ and in situ conservationists to create meaningful partnerships, to share knowledge and experiences in conservation. 
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