PRESS ROOM

Detroit Zoological Society Joins Zoos and Aquariums to Advance Global Goals to Protect Wildlife and Wild Places Across the World

With the Power of Millions Behind Us: We Are Resolved to Halt and Reverse the World’s Catastrophic Decline in Biodiversity

October 17, 2023

ROYAL OAK, Mich., 

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) member facilities, including the Detroit Zoological Society (DZS), are uniting behind advancing the goals of the Kunnming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, including protecting at least 30 percent of the planet by 2030 (30×30).

As of Oct. 10, 2023, more than 100 AZA-accredited members have already signed a declaration uniting behind efforts to end and reverse the world’s catastrophic decline of biodiversity.

AZA members, located in 13 countries, currently invest more than $250 million annually in field conservation, making it one of the largest funders for biodiversity globally. In addition, these zoos and aquariums inspire and engage more than 200 million visitors a year to care about and take action for animals and their ecosystems.

AZA and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) have joined together to unite the entire AZA community behind making 30×30 a reality, along with the other agreed-upon targets of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. Those goals and targets include retaining and restoring ecological integrity of ecosystems; saving threatened and endangered species; ending illegal and unsustainable wildlife trade; and preventing future pandemics.

“The super-power of AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums is the opportunity to influence and inspire the 200 million people who visit every year,” said Dan Ashe, President and CEO of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. “Our members provide experiences that create connections to nature, evoke empathy, and inspire action that will help us succeed in preserving 30 percent of nature by 2030.”

Dr. Hayley Murphy, executive director and CEO of the DZS, said, “The DZS is determined to work with our AZA colleagues to reverse the decline in biodiversity, and we fully support the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. Together, we will make a meaningful impact and secure a better future for our planet.”

The declaration reads in part: “With the power of the millions who support our parks annually, we fully commit to the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, especially its goals and targets to halt and reverse the decline in biodiversity.

“We will strive to make it a reality by working globally with governments, other conservation organizations, civil society, Indigenous peoples, local communities, businesses, and other stakeholders.

“We will continue to work to ensure that all our visitors and members understand the importance of protecting, conserving, and restoring both species and their habitats, and achieving all of the targets of the Global Biodiversity Framework. We will strive to find ways to enlist their help and support.”

The inaugural zoos and aquariums which have signed the declaration as of Oct. 10, 2023:

115 Total sign-ons

Abilene Zoological Gardens; Akron Zoo; Ape Cognition and Conservation Initiative; Aquarium Of Niagara; Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum; Audubon Zoo & Park; Baylor University Bear Habitat; Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Birmingham Zoo; Blank Park Zoo; Brevard Zoo; Bronx Zoo – A Wildlife Conservation Society Park; Brookfield Zoo – Chicago Zoological Society; Butterfly Pavilion; Buttonwood Park Zoo; Cabrillo Marine Aquarium; California Academy of Sciences; Central Florida Zoo; Central Park Zoo – A Wildlife Conservation Society Park; Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden; Cleveland Metroparks Zoo; Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland; Columbus Zoo & Aquarium; Como Park Zoo and Conservatory; Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo; Cosley Zoo; CuriOdyssey; The Dallas World Aquarium; Dayton Society of Natural History, Boonshoft Museum of Discovery; Detroit Zoological Society; Dickerson Park Zoo; Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment; Duke Lemur Center; El Paso Zoo and Botanical Gardens; Ellen Trout Zoo; Essex County Turtle Back Zoo; The Florida Aquarium; Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo; Fossil Rim Wildlife Center; Fresno Chaffee Zoo; Georgia Aquarium; Great Plains Zoo; Henry Vilas Zoo; Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens; Jenkinson’s Aquarium; Kansas City Zoo and Aquarium; Lake Superior Zoo; Lehigh Valley Zoo; Lincoln Park Zoo; Little Rock Zoo; The Living Desert Zoo and Garden; Los Angeles Zoo; Lubee Bat Conservancy; Marineland Dolphin Adventure; The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk; Maryland Zoo in Baltimore; Memphis Zoo; Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden; Millbrook’s Trevor Zoo; Miller Park Zoo; Milwaukee County Zoo; Mississippi State Aquarium; Moody Gardens, Inc.; Mystic Aquarium; Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens; Nashville Zoo; National Mississippi River Museum; New England Aquarium; New York Aquarium – A Wildlife Conservation Society Park; North Carolina Aquarium Society; Northeastern Wisconsin Zoo & Adventure Park; Oakland Zoo; OdySea Aquarium; Oglebay Good Zoo; Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden; Oregon Coast Aquarium; Oregon Zoo; Peoria Zoo; Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium; Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium and Northwest Trek Wildlife Park; Polar Bears International; Prospect Park Zoo – A Wildlife Conservation Society Park; Pueblo Zoo; Queens Zoo – A Wildlife Conservation Society Park; Racine Zoo; Red River Zoo; Reid Park Zoo; Riverbanks Zoo; Roger Williams Park Zoo; Rolling Hills Zoo; Saint Louis Zoo; San Antonio Zoo; San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance; Santa Barbara Zoo; Santa Fe College Teaching Zoo; Scovill Zoo; SEA LIFE Aquarium at LEGOLAND California Resort; Seattle Aquarium; SeaWorld Parks; Sequoia Park Zoo; Shedd Aquarium; South Carolina Aquarium; The Staten Island Zoo; Sunset Zoo; Tennessee Aquarium; The Toledo Zoo & Aquarium; Toronto Zoo; Tracy Aviary; Virginia Aquarium Foundation; Virginia Zoo; Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo; Woodland Park Zoo; Zoo New England – Franklin Park Zoo & Stone Zoo; Zoo Miami; ZooMontana

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About DZS

The Detroit Zoological Society – a renowned leader in humane education, wildlife conservation, animal welfare and environmental sustainability – operates the Detroit Zoo and Belle Isle Nature Center. One of Michigan’s largest paid family attractions, the Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak hosts more than 1.3 million visitors annually. Its 125 acres of award-winning naturalistic habitats are home to more than 2,000 animals representing more than 200 species. The Belle Isle Nature Center sits on a 5-acre site on Belle Isle State Park in Detroit. For hours, prices, directions and other information, call (248) 541-5717 or visit detroitzoo.org

About AZA

Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, animal wellbeing, education, science, and recreation. AZA is the accrediting body for the top zoos and aquariums in the United States and twelve other countries. Look for the AZA accreditation logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. The AZA is a leader in saving species and your link to helping animals all over the world. To learn more, visit www.aza.org.

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