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Your Zoo’s role in conservation, globally and locally

From the mountains of North Georgia to the rainforest of Borneo, Zoo Atlanta is a partner in saving species. Often you think of a zoo as a place where animals live, but it’s so much more than that. Today’s accredited zoos are key players in saving wildlife and wild places all over the world.  When you visit a zoo, you can learn about the animals that live there, but you can also get engaged in conservation and saving species. 

But what is conservation?  According to National Geographic, “Conservation is the practice of caring for (our natural) resources so all living things can benefit from them now and in the future.”  This “caring” can look different, depending on which resource you are preserving. Zoo Atlanta uses a diverse approach to our conservation efforts by focusing on the following key elements, which harness our core competencies as an organization:  funding, expertise, education, partnership and sustainability.

Zoo Atlanta supports the work of field conservation by providing essential funds to support field conservation work. One way we do this is to provide pro-bono space and resources for the U.S. headquarters of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, whose work to save the mountain gorillas has led to positive outcomes over the last 50 years.

We also have team member expertise that we can share with others. Robert Hill, Assistant Curator of Herpetology, has provided field support to the Panamanian Golden Frog Project in Panama. This collaboration project strives to save this species that is threatened by the deadly amphibian chytrid fungus as well as the loss of suitable habitat.

We excel at providing educational experiences for our guests and community that explore the work of the Zoo as well as provide participants with the knowledge of how they can conserve species and other natural resources. The Meatless Mondays program engages participants in understanding the issues associated with factory farms as well as the bushmeat trade. Each participant walks away with an understanding of the issues, as well as how they can make a positive impact by being a savvy shopper or by changing up even one meal a week.

Zoo Atlanta partners with key conservation and governmental organizations to advance the conservation of species. The Zoo’s newest partner Conservation South Luangwa, in Zambia, Africa, is a key player in conserving the ecosystem of South Luangwa National Park, where you can find many species such as African elephants, African lions, zebras and many species of vultures. Through this partnership, Zoo Atlanta will be able to support the work in the field through funding and team member expertise, as well as bring real-world stories to our programs here in Atlanta, connecting our guests to the conservation work in Africa. 

Lastly, the Zoo is working to conserve Georgia’s own natural resources through the Zoo’s sustainability initiatives.  From reducing water usage to recycling our uniforms, Zoo Atlanta is working to be a responsible steward of our resources.

These are just a few of the vital efforts you support, just by visiting Zoo Atlanta. We encourage you to learn more and get involved!
Michelle Kolar
Vice President of Education

Connect With Your Wild Side #onlyzooatl