EntertainmentAZA Offers Conservation Award High Honor to Houston Zoo,...

AZA Offers Conservation Award High Honor to Houston Zoo, Naples Zoo and Caribbean Gardens, and SeaWorld Parks and Leisure Collaboration


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HOUSTON and NAPLES, Fla. and ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The Big Armadillo Conservation Program (GACP), a collaboration between the Houston Zoo, Naples Zoo, and SeaWorld Parks and Leisure (NYSE: SEAS), obtained the 2021 William G. Conway Worldwide Conservation Award from the Affiliation of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The award acknowledges distinctive efforts by AZA Establishment, Associated Facility, or Conservation Accomplice members towards habitat preservation, species restoration, and assist of biodiversity within the wild. The enormous armadillo is discovered throughout South America and has been deemed susceptible to extinction by the Worldwide Union for Conservation of Nature. Big armadillos had been declared one in all 5 indicator species for the creation of protected areas in 2014 within the State of Mato Grosso southern, Brazil, because of the GACP efforts.

“With species disappearing at alarming and rising charges, conservation management has by no means mattered extra. The dedication of those well-respected zoological organizations – Houston Zoo, Naples Zoo, and SeaWorld – is rising understanding and safety of the large armadillo. Their collective efforts to avoid wasting the large armadillo from extinction is motive for hope, for this species and plenty of others,” stated Dan Ashe, President and CEO of the Affiliation of Zoos and Aquariums.

The AZA is the accrediting physique for the highest zoos and aquariums in the US and 12 different nations. All three of the GACP establishments are accredited by the AZA.

The enormous armadillo is an engendered species and the most important armadillo species on the planet, with a large distribution all through Southern American habitats. Nonetheless, they’re all the time naturally uncommon all through their vary, usually experiencing native extinctions equivalent to in Uruguay and elsewhere.  Whereas habitat destruction, poisoning, and searching pose main threats to remaining populations, a lot about this species stays unknown.

“With out the assist of AZA zoos, we’d by no means have been capable of begin or proceed the large armadillo Conservation Program,” stated Dr. Arnaud Desbiez, head of the Big Armadillo Conservation Venture. “Despite the fact that there aren’t any big armadillos in AZA collections, zoos have labored collectively to fund, create new discipline strategies, construct the capability of the workforce, and create such a powerful partnership that our collective effort now spans FOUR biomes SIX conservation initiatives.”

GACP Identifies the Big Armadillo as an Ecosystem Engineer as Deserted Burrows Present Shelter for 70 Species of Wildlife

In 2011, GACP established the primary long-term ecological research of big armadillos in Brazil.  It recognized the species as ecosystem engineers whose empty burrows change into a shelter from predators and temperature extremes for over 70 species of wildlife from lizards and snakes to ocelots, peccaries, and anteaters, to tamandua and puma. GACP is pioneering methodologies to analyze big armadillo ecology and biology, selling conservation consciousness via environmental schooling and outreach, and has change into one of many main capacity-building tasks for aspiring conservationists with over 85 Brazilian biologists and veterinarians educated since its inception. Its aim continues to be to make use of discipline knowledge to tell conservation outreach and planning and make big armadillos a flagship species for biodiversity conservation to safeguard remaining native habitats and wildlife. AZA establishments have been instrumental each step of the way in which for the previous 11 years.

Lee Ehmke, President & CEO of Houston Zoo said, “Our partnership with the Big Armadillo Conservation Program impressed us to open South America’s Pantanal in 2020. The luxurious habitat highlights animals we’re defending within the wild, together with big anteaters, tapirs, and extra, with conservation companions together with GACP. With this new exhibit, the Zoo gives guests the possibility to see these animals in an immersive and fascinating path and strengthens our zoo’s conservation dedication to this distinctive and threatened ecosystem.”

“Wildlife would not cease on the borders of protected areas, so neither can conservation,” explains Tim Tetzlaff, Naples Zoo’s Director of Conservation. “Massive rural landowners can assist super quantities of wildlife on their personal lands. Understanding their perspective and actually collaborating with these key stakeholders is vital for wildlife species to stay ample sufficient to fill their place within the ecosystem, together with big armadillos’ position in aiding dozens of different uncommon species. Naples Zoo tremendously values the GACP’s efforts in listening to various audiences to handle the wants of individuals, animals, and the land – a sample we comply with in regional work with Florida panthers.”

Dr. Chris Dold, Chief Zoological Officer for SeaWorld Parks and Leisure added, “The conservation of animal species is central to our objective and extends to each nook of the world. By funding by the Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, we have now provided funds, staffing, and discipline assist because the tasks starting and are honored to play a component in preserving this elusive, however vital, species.”

Teaching programs in any respect three establishments spotlight the undertaking to visitors in each programming and interpretative messaging.

About Houston Zoo
The Houston Zoo connects communities with animals, inspiring motion to avoid wasting wildlife. Established in 1922, at this time the Zoo is a number one conservation and schooling nonprofit group offering care to hundreds of animals. All whereas remaining a cherished vacation spot for enjoyable, household, and inspiration for all of Houston’s various communities. The Houston Zoo is accredited by the Affiliation of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), a 501(c)3 non-profit group devoted to the development of zoos and aquariums within the areas of conservation, schooling, science, and recreation.

About Naples Zoo and Caribbean Gardens
Naples Zoo and Caribbean Gardens is a nonprofit charitable group caring for uncommon species each in and out of doors the wild via conservation and teaching programs that create a greater future for each individuals and wildlife. With the assist of holiday makers, members, and donors, Naples Zoo has invested over 2.4 million {dollars} saving crops and animals within the wild since 2014. The Zoo funds the annual salaries of 10 discipline employees in Brazil, Uganda, and Madagascar together with biologists, researchers, village video games scouts, and two wildlife veterinarians together with the pinnacle veterinarian of the Big Armadillo Conservation Program. With a agency perception that what’s finest for individuals and wildlife is identical factor in the long term, Naples Zoo strives to assist conservation efforts that mirror this mutual profit.

About SeaWorld Parks & Leisure
SeaWorld Leisure, Inc. (NYSE: SEAS) is a number one theme park and leisure firm offering experiences that matter, and provoking visitors to guard animals and the wild wonders of our world. The Firm is likely one of the world’s foremost zoological organizations and a world chief in animal welfare, coaching, husbandry, and veterinary care. The Firm collectively cares for what it believes is likely one of the largest zoological collections on the planet and has helped lead advances within the care of animals. The Firm additionally rescues and rehabilitates marine and terrestrial animals which can be unwell, injured, orphaned, or deserted, with the aim of returning them to the wild. The SeaWorld® rescue workforce has helped greater than 39,000 animals in want over the Firm’s historical past.  SeaWorld Leisure, Inc. owns or licenses a portfolio of acknowledged manufacturers together with SeaWorld®, Busch Gardens®, Aquatica®, Sesame Place® and Sea Rescue®. Over its greater than 60-year historical past, the Firm has constructed a diversified portfolio of 12 vacation spot and regional theme parks which can be grouped in key markets throughout the US, a lot of which showcase its one-of-a-kind zoological assortment. The Firm’s theme parks function a various array of rides, reveals and different sights with broad demographic attraction which ship memorable experiences and a powerful worth proposition for its visitors.

Media Contacts:

Houston Zoo
Jackie Wallace
[email protected]

Naples Zoo
Tim Tetzlaff
[email protected]

SeaWorld Parks & Leisure
Lisa Cradit
[email protected]

SOURCE SeaWorld Parks & Leisure

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