The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)
- Location: MD
- Marching Since: April 10, 2007
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) is a non-profit organization comprised of more than 200 accredited institutions dedicated to animal care and husbandry, conservation, education, science and recreation. AZA’s vision, and that of its member institutions, is to work with passion, leadership and collective action to celebrate and conserve the wonders of the natural world. AZA institutions draw over 143 million visitors annually and have more than eight million zoo and aquarium members who provide almost $100 million in support. These institutions teach more than 12 million people each year in living classrooms, dedicate millions annually to education, conservation and scientific research programs and support over 1,800 field conservation and research projects in 80 countries. The scientific evidence is now clear that many species could face extinction in the wild by the end of this century as a result of global warming. For example, based on the research of several AZA-associated polar bear specialists, we now have information from the most recent Beaufort Sea census that many polar bears have drowned in the Beaufort Sea or died in other ways, and that this population of polar bears has now “crashed”. Over the past three decades, more than a million square miles of sea ice — an area the size of Norway, Denmark and Sweden combined — has disappeared, and this will inevitably lead to more drownings and other open sea-related mortalities. Whether they are polar bears or butterflies or coral reefs – all affected by global warming – AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums play a critical role in the conservation of threatened and endangered species. We are deeply involved in conservation outreach and education programs to share and build a deep and abiding public commitment to the protection of wild animals and wild places. We encourage all AZA member institutions to join in the Stop Global Warming Virtual March.