Zoos and Conservation

Sumatran tigress Isha at Taronga Western Plains by M Counihan

Zoos and conservation – working together through 21st Century Tiger

Many zoos support 21st Century Tiger. You can read about fundraising certificates, and see our top supporters in Zoo Support and  see some images on our  Supporter zoo photos.

Modern zoos are major contributors to the conservation of wild animals through:

  • in country field projects
  • zoo based education and awareness raising
  • zoo based fundraising
  • veterinary skills and biological information  transfered to  field programmes
  • breeding programmes to preserve genetic diversity
The world zoo and aquarium community spends about US$350 million a year on wildlife conservation*.


Zoos have a responsibility to the species in their collections and many regional zoo associations expect zoos to commit to funding in situ conservation projects.

Both the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) and the Zoo and Aquarium Association (Australasia) (formerly known as ARAZPA) have run highly successful regional fundraising campaigns for tigers, raising well over three-quarters of a million euros in two years, and many individual zoos continue the effort.

21st Century Tiger would like to thank EAZA, Zoo and Aquarium Association (Australasia)  and all participating zoos for their contributions, which make such a huge difference to tiger conservation.

2002 – 2004 EAZA Tiger Campaign.EAZA logo

Between 2002 and 2004, the EAZA Tiger Campaign in European zoos raised over three-quarters of a million euros.

This campaign represented an increase in the global funding pool for tigers of about eight percent a year for those two years – a huge contribution! Over 130 zoos in 24 countries took part in the campaign, from Finland to France and from Ireland to Russia. Colchester Zoo in the UK reached the highest total at a staggering 61,070 euros!

2003 ARAZPA Tiger CampaignZAA logo

Zoo and Aquarium Association Australasia previously know as ARAZPA launched a parallel tiger campaign during 2003 with 21st Century Tiger and more than AU$100,000 was raised by seven Australasian zoos!

ZAA  zoos hold only Sumatran tigers, unlike European zoos which have both Amur and Sumatran, so their efforts are mostly focused on projects in Sumatra.

WAZA – World Association of Zoos and AquariumsWAZA logo

Many animal species are threatened with extinction. Zoos do not only keep such species in their custody with a view to maintaining ex situ reserve populations, but  increasingly link their ex situ activities with conservation projects in the field.
Zoos and Aquariums of the WAZA Network manage and support such “in situ” conservation projects in all parts of the world to contribute to the maintenance of the great variety of nature. 21st Century Tiger aims to have all its projects endorsed by WAZA.

*The Global Reach of Zoos and Aquariums in Visitor Numbers and Conservation Expenditures. By Markus Gusset and Gerald Dick. World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) Executive Office, Gland, Switzerland.