U.S. accredited zoos & aquariums contribute over $200M annually to field conservation. ($220M in 2017, $230M in 2018, and over $1B in last 5 years)
Field Conservation is directly contributing to the long-term survival of species in natural ecosystems and habitats including:
In 2017, the $220 million on conservation efforts impacted more than 850 species and subspecies, including 281 currently listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
In fact, Zoos & Aquariums are credited with saving several animal species from extinction. Two of the most well documented examples include the California Condor and the American Bison.
In the 1980’s there were only 22 California Condors left in the wild. The Los Angeles Zoo and San Diego Zoo concentrated efforts to breed, train and release the birds back into the wild. These zoos, among others, are credited with bringing the birds back from the brink of extinction with hundreds now flying freely in the wild.
Overhunting in the 1870’s threatened to exterminate bison, dropping their population to less than 1% of their natural range. In 1887 the National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C. was approved by Congress to protect the bison, keeping 18 on hand. In the early 1900’s the Bronx Zoo continued this important conservation work by breeding the American Bison and helping re-establish into the wild.