ABOVE: Whooping Crane. Courtesy National Audubon Society.
New Orleans, LA, USA (May 15, 2015) — Today is the 10th anniversary of Endangered Species Day, and to highlight the growing importance of working to save endangered species from extinction, Audubon Nature Institute will have endangered whooping cranes and African penguins “vanish” from their exhibits.
“This is a critically important time for the future of wildlife. Audubon Nature Institute works in partnership with programs around the world to boost numbers of disappearing species,” said Audubon Nature Institute President and CEO Ron Forman. “Today, we are asking our visitors to pause and consider what extinction looks and feels like in a collaborative effort to motivate and inspire them to join Audubon Nature Institute and other accredited zoos and aquariums in our efforts to save animals from extinction.”
The “vanishing animals” from Audubon Nature Institute are part of a larger, national effort organized by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, of which Audubon Zoo and Audubon Aquarium are members. Specifically, the 229 accredited members of the AZA are coming together in a variety of ways to raise awareness of the efforts to save animals from extinction and to help launch AZA SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction (SAFE).
For decades, AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums have been leaders in species survival, and already are working to restore more than 30 species to healthy wild populations, including the American bison, the California condor and a variety of aquatic species.
Through SAFE, AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums will convene scientists and stakeholders globally to identify the factors threatening species, develop Conservation Action Plans, collect new resources and engage the public.
In 2015, SAFE will focus on 10 species and then add an additional 10 species each year for the next 10 years. The inaugural 10 species include: African penguin, Asian elephants, Black rhinoceros, cheetah, gorilla, sea turtles, vaquita, sharks and rays, Western pond turtle and Whooping Crane.
“AZA aquarium and zoo conservationists have identified more than 100 species facing the greatest threats and where accredited zoos and aquariums have unique conservation and science knowledge to contribute,” Jim Maddy, AZA President and CEO, said. “Today, we’re demonstrating just how profound the loss would be if we don’t take action now to protect wildlife. More importantly, we are also explaining to the public just what AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums are doing to save animals from extinction.”
Audubon Nature Institute is involved with conservation efforts including:
Public Asked to Help Save Animals from Extinction
One of the easiest ways that the public can take part in conservation efforts is to visit Audubon Nature Institute attractions. Doing so directly supports the collaborative efforts of hundreds of researchers, field conservationists and scientists from AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums working to save animals from extinction.
For more information about SAFE, visit www.azaanimals.org/
To learn more about Audubon’s work to save animals from extinction, visit www.auduboninstitute.org/
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