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Western Lowland Gorilla

AZA SAFE: Saving Animals from Extinction

Zoo New England is proud to support the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' SAFE initiative (Saving Animals from Extinction), a bold new effort focused on #SavingSpecies.

SAFE is a commitment by the Association's accredited zoos and aquariums to harness our collective resources, focus on specific endangered species, and save them from extinction by restoring healthy populations in the wild.

AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums are part of an integrated network of conservation partners which spend a combined $160 million a year on conservation of animals in the wild. The AZA has nearly 500 Species Survival Plans in place, along with thousands of veterinarians, scientists, and animal care professionals with the expertise to help endangered species. Visit AZA's website to learn more about SAFE.

The future of wild animals is in our hands, and public support for conservation efforts is vital to our success. Together, we can ensure a bright future for wildlife around the globe.

SAFE Species here at Zoo New England

 

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Giraffe

Giraffes, an iconic species of Africa, have been going through a silent crisis. In just the past few years, their numbers in the wild have dropped dramatically with little notice. Giraffe numbers have decreased by approximately 40 percent, and there are less than 100,000 giraffes left throughout Africa. Threats include habitat loss, habitat degradation, habitat fragmentation, population growth and poaching. AZA-accredited zoos and their partners are working collectively to help save giraffes through education, scientific research, field work, public awareness and action.

AZA SAFE Initiatives

To offset declines in two subspecies of gorilla, AZA organizations raised $7.7 million for gorilla conservation from 2013-2017 and project leaders for the SAFE gorilla program are developing action plans to address the current threats.

Species Survival Program

Zoo New England participates in the Masai giraffe Species Survival Plan. By sharing research and knowledge, participating institutions work together to establish guidelines that best ensure the health of captive populations, and with success, the survival of otherwise extinct species.

Reticulated Giraffe Project

We've supported a number of organizations in support of giraffe conservation, including the Reticulated Giraffe Project, the White Oak Conservation Foundation, Wildlife Conservation Global, and the Sahara Conservation Fund. The Zoo also hosts yearly events on World Giraffe Day to raise funds and awareness for the species.

Quarters for Conservation

Through our Quarters for Conservation program, from July, 2018 through January, 2019, a portion of every admission ticket and membership sold will help support AZA's SAFE Giraffe initiative.

Jaguar

AZA SAFE Initiatives

Since the mid-1980s, AZA member institutions have been funding, conducting and supporting jaguar-related fieldwork in Central and South America. Using objectives outlined by the IUCN Species Survival Commission Cat Specialist Group, the SAFE jaguar program is focused on protecting jaguars primarily in Central America, and expanding capacity to protect jaguars throughout their range.

Species Survival Program

Zoo New England participates in the jaguar Species Survival Plan. By sharing research and knowledge, participating institutions work together to establish guidelines that best ensure the health of captive populations, and with success, the survival of otherwise extinct species.

Rüppell’s Griffon Vulture

Vultures are scavengers, eating the carcass and remains of dead animals. By removing waste and controlling the spread of disease, these birds play a key role in the stability of ecosystems in which they live. The primary threat to this bird’s survival in the wild is poisoning. Vultures are often poisoned in retaliation for livestock losses. Poachers will also poison vultures to prevent rangers from detecting their illegal activities. As a result, threats to the vulture’s survival overlap heavily with those of other species, particularly African elephants and lions.

Due to these widespread poisoning deaths, the IUCN Red List status of African-Eurasian vultures has seen drastic changes for the worse in recent years. Rapid declines have been noted for almost all species throughout large portions of the African continent. The majority of species are now listed as Critically Endangered, the highest category of threat, indicating a very high risk of extinction in the wild.

AZA SAFE Initiatives

AZA institutions have played a critical role in the conservation of other vulture species such as California condors. The goal of AZA SAFE’s action plan is to improve the population status of six target vulture species in at least 25% of their African distribution by 2020.

AZA members spent over $100,000 in 2014, over $90,000 in 2015 and over $230,000 in 2016 on African vulture conservation. Several institutions have mobilized large field-based conservation efforts focusing on the conservation of African vultures. These programs have included population-monitoring, satellite telemetry, ranger training to reduce poisoning, and awareness building in range countries of significance for African vultures including Botswana, Chad, Kenya, Niger, and Tanzania.

Species Survival Plan

Zoo New England helps Rüppell's griffon vultures by participating in the Species Survival Plan. By sharing research and knowledge, participating institutions work together to establish guidelines that best ensure the health of captive populations, and with success, the survival of otherwise extinct species.

Quarters for Conservation

We've supported The Peregrine Fund through our Quarters for Conservation Program. Through this program, 25 cents from every admission ticket and $2.50 from every membership is used to support wildlife conservation across the globe. New programs and initiatives are selected for the program every six months. Learn more.

Western Lowland Gorilla

Gorilla numbers in the wild are declining at a rapid rate. Ebola virus and the commercial bush meat trade, along with extreme habitat loss and poaching are the main causes behind gorilla deaths. As a result, the western lowland gorilla’s numbers have declined by more than 60% over the last 20 to 25 years. According to the World Wildlife Federation, even if all of the threats to this species were removed, scientists calculate that the population would require some 75 years to recover.

AZA SAFE Initiatives

Between 2010 and 2014, 52 AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums reported taking part in a variety of field conservation projects benefiting gorillas. Over those five years alone, the AZA community invested $4.5 million in gorilla conservation. In 2010, the Ape TAG Conservation Initiative was launched by AZA's Ape Taxon Advisory Group (TAG), with the goal of increasing zoo support for ape conservation. Through the initiative, AZA institutions continually contribute resources to global ape conservation.

Species Survival Plan

Zoo New England participates in the Western lowland gorilla Species Survival Plan. By sharing research and knowledge, participating institutions work together to establish guidelines that best ensure the health of captive populations, and with success, the survival of otherwise extinct species.

Whooping Crane

Whooping cranes are a critically endangered species. The current whooping crane population represents less than 4% of its historic size, and one of only two crane species are found in North America. After declining to only about 22 wild birds in the 1940s, efforts to bolster crane populations have resulted in an increase to about 612 individuals for both wild and captive whooping cranes.

AZA SAFE Initiatives

From 2010 to 2014, 11 AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums, including Zoo New England, took part in a variety of field conservation projects benefitting whooping cranes. Over $3.2 million was spent on whooping crane conservation.

Species Survival Program

Zoo New England participates in the whooping crane Species Survival Plan. By sharing research and knowledge, participating institutions work together to establish guidelines that best ensure the health of captive populations, and with success, the survival of otherwise extinct species.

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