Species Conservation Industry Trends

Wolves are pretty picky eaters. How’d we learn that? Feeding Mexican wolves, red wolves, maned wolves and other canids at the Endangered Wolf Center in eastern Missouri over the last 40 years. The Endangered Wolf Center is an organization whose mission is to preserve wolves and reintroduce them to the wild for a healthy ecosystem and planet. Donating wolf feed and conducting live feed trials there have helped us develop the Mazuri® Exotic Canine Diet, allowing conservationists to feed nutritionally appropriate diets as they work to preserve species.

This is just one example of a species conservation partnership in action. Look to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) for about 500 more examples. Launched in 1971, SSP programs work to ensure the survival of threatened or endangered species in zoos and aquariums, as well as their natural habitats in the wild.

Today, nearly 500 species are protected by SSP programs that use research, habitat conservation and educational outreach to help endangered or threatened species thrive.

Partnering for a brighter future

Along with AZA’s 233 accredited zoos and aquariums, Mazuri Animal Nutrition continues to support the health and longevity of exotic animals in our communities, as well as those in their natural habitats. We tirelessly support research, conservation and educational outreach efforts, including:

  • Awarding exotic animal research grants of up to $10,000 to advance the nutrition knowledge to help aid in conservation and to better care for the animals in managed care.

  • Sponsoring Species360, a database that contains critical information on 22,000 wildlife species and 6.8 million individual animals.

  • Providing exotic animal feed, nutritional research and support to species conservation programs like the Turtle Survival Alliance and the Endangered Wolf Center.

AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums have educated over 175 million visitors, 12 million students in classroom or field settings, and 400,000 teachers, AZA reports. Mazuri plays a central role by meeting the nutritional needs of the exotic animals that attract those visitors.

Ongoing research and conservation

Species conservation work has had an immediate and long-lasting impact. In fact, AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums undertook habitat-focused restoration projects that benefited more than 1,000 exotic animal species, subspecies and species groups in 2018, AZA reports.

Additional 2018 species conservation trends include:

  • Five new species added to AZA’s Saving Animals From Extinction (SAFE) program, including the African lion. The program now protects 19 exotic species, and AZA members have contributed over $19.2 million to save these animals from extinction.

  • Researchers at AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums around the world also dedicated $25.1 million to research at 524 AZA-accredited facilities in 2018, as well as in natural, tropical, coastal and wetland habitats.

  • Species and habitat conservation findings appeared in 125 peer-reviewed papers, books, technical reports and graduate theses.

As exotic animal lovers ourselves, we’re proud to support these efforts. We’ll continue to support research and conservation efforts that help build a brighter future for exotic animal species close to home, and in the wild.

Learn more about Species Survival Plans through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Find more industry trends and articles here.