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

Wildlife Conservation

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.

EAZA Members:

  • provide financial and human resources to help field conservation projects protect wild animals and their habitats
  • work to ensure that many of the most endangered species populations in our zoos and aquariums are intensively managed to ensure their survival
  • participate in EAZA conservation campaigns that draw our visitors' attention to the crisis in nature, raise funds and promote public involvement in conservation
  • collaborate wherever possible with partners such as the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to provide assistance to their conservation activities
  • conduct research which provides valuable insights into the protection of wild populations

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.

EAZA Conservation Database and Map

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. 

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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.

Conservation Database Snapshot of January: The turquoise dwarf gecko from Kimboza Forest 

The turquoise dwarf gecko Lygodactylus williamsi is an example of species that used to be affected by very high demand in pet trade. In the mid-2000’s, it also boomed in Europe, which is when the EAZA Member Erfurt Zoo (Germany) started focusing on the protection of this charming reptile. 

The turquoise dwarf gecko is endemic to Tanzania and lives exclusively on the screwpine tree Pandanus rabaiensis in the tropical Forest Reserves of Kimboza and Ruvu. Forest fragmentation, the expansion of the invasive tree species Cedrela odorata and serious exploitation for international pet market are jeopardizing the survival of species, listed as Critically Endangered in the IUCN Red List. 

Due to the small remaining main habitat of about 4 km² at Kimboza Forest, it soon became clear to Erfurt Zoo that the focus had to be on habitat conservation and restoration. In 2020 Erfurt Zoo launched the “Kimboza Forest Gecko Project” together with the Sokoine University at Morogoro (Tanzania) as the in situ coordinator, whilst the German Zoological Society for the Conservation of Species and Populations (ZGAP) collects donations from zoos, museums and botanical gardens and managing the administrative duties, and the Vivaristische Vereinigung e. V. provides the main contact to private gecko breeders in Germany. 

The project has two main aims for the present time 

  1. The creation and management of 10 km fire breaks around Kimboza Forest, to stop fires from adjacent fields before reaching the Forest. Due to local climate conditions, those breaks need to be cleared twice a year. After fires (usually arson, set on purpose), the invasive Cedrela odorata germinates and grows very quickly. These invasive tree saplings must be picked by hand. Thanks to this activity, about 50 hectares of Kimboza Forest are cleaned every year! 
  2. The training of forest rangers. They now patrol the forest areas to fight poaching and detect illegal forest fires. All the work is done either by locals (paid by the project) or by students attending forest ecology studies at the local University. The project finances transport, accommodation and food during their work in Kimboza

The project will be enlarged in the near future. Ecotourism is foreseen to be brought in, and the creation of a tree nursery for native plants (including 13 endemic tree species) is planned. Locals will be the first ones profiting from this conservation project, as well as the turquoise dwarf gecko and whole Kimboza Forest!  

Finally, Erfurt Zoo has launched a conservation donation campaign to fund the Kimboza Forest Gecko ProjectIf you want to receive more information, you can write to Dr. Heike 

And what about the pet market? Fortunately, the threat has been reduced. Unlicensed collection of the species had been strictly prohibited in Tanzania since 2002. Nowadays, the turquoise dwarf gecko is also listed in the CITES Appendix I and the EU has banned its imports. The last seizure by customin Europe took place in 2015 at Heathrow Airport (UK). Many other species need a stronger protection against illegal, unsustainable and/or unethical trade: we hopethat the turquoise dwarf gecko case can inspire other positive actions! 

To read more about the project, visit the EAZA Conservation Database.

2023 01 turquoise dwarf gecko

2021 Snapshot updates

Find here the latest achievements of the projects highlighted in 2021 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.

2021 Snapshots updates