Since 1916, the San Diego Zoo in California has been connecting people and animals. What you may not know is that, along with the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, the zoo is part of the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance (SDZWA), “an international, nonprofit conservation organization committed to inspiring a passion for nature and creating a world where all life thrives.” Watch this short video or keep reading to learn more.
The sustainability of wildlife around the world is threatened by climate change, invasive species, habitat degradation, human-wildlife conflict, wildlife trafficking and emerging diseases. SDZWA addresses these challenges by implementing conservation strategies in partnership with hundreds of organizations around the world.
They operate in eight strategic regions, known as conservation hubs, and focus on specific animals in each region – for example gorillas in the African forest, jaguars in Amazonia and elephants and rhinos in the savanna. Working with local partners they develop their conservations plans which have included trail cams and GPS collars for jaguars, providing water sources for kolas affected by wildfires, and reintroducing “more than 44 endangered species to native habitats”.
SDZWA brings stories of their work back to the zoo and safari park to give guests the opportunity to experience conservation in action. This work reaches over 1 billion people in 150 countries via news media, social media, their websites, educational resources, and the San Diego Zoo Kids channel, which is in children’s hospitals in 13 countries. Their goal is to inspire visitors, both in person and virtually, to become Wildlife Allies and help safeguard wildlife around the world.
If you want to be a Wildlife Ally, there are many ways to get involved. You can join campaigns to slow climate change, protect natural habitat for monarch butterflies, or help stop wildlife trafficking. You can also purchase a membership to SDZWA and visit in person, make a donation or join conservation experts for some adventure travel! As always, help spread the love on social media. Like the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @sandiegozoo and Instagram @sandiegozoo.