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

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.

Conservation Database Snapshot of August: Elasmobranch Bycatch Project 


Since 2017 and inspired by the work of Sharklab-Malta, Fundación Oceanogràfic and Associació Lamna have collaborated on the Elasmobranch Bycatch Project aiming to rescue otherwise discarded shark and ray eggs and give them a second chance at survival.

Sharks and rays are among the most threatened vertebrates of the world. Every day, hundreds of sharks are fished with viable eggs inside, or eggs already laid are accidentally removed from the sea when caught in different fishing gears. This project focuses on repairing the broken cycle: via close communication with local fishermen communities, they recover the eggs, keep them in tanks under appropriate temperature, water quality and lighting conditions. After an average of three months, embryonic development is completed, and the newborns are ready to be released back to the sea where food and shelter are available.

This project allows the project team to contribute to the conservation of elasmobranchs in three key ways:

  1. transforming a fishing discard into a resource for direct conservation,
  2. raising awareness to fishermen and the general public about the situation of sharks and rays in the world,
  3. generating knowledge about embryonic development and husbandry of sharks and rays, both useful in the academic field and the zoos and aquaria community,

encapsulating the three objectives of Foundation Oceanogràfic and the EAZA community - Conservation, Research, and Outreach.

Visit the EAZA Conservation Database to find out more.

2020 08 elasmo snap

2018 Snapshot updates

Find here the latest achievements of the projects highlighted in 2018 for the Conservation Database Snapshots. For a better view, click on the image. 

Snapshots update 2017