Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is one of more than 220 accredited institutional members of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). AZA zoos and aquariums have transformed significantly over the past several decades, developing more comprehensive research, conservation and conservation education initiatives while maintaining a tradition as premier recreational facilities. This transformation began in 1980 when the AZA’s Board of Directors designated conservation as the association’s number one priority.
Prior to 1980, zoos generally focused their efforts on exhibition and providing basic animal care for the individual animals in their collections. While many species reproduced in captivity, there was little inter-zoo cooperation with regard to species- level population management. With conservation as the AZA’s stated priority, significant strides were made through the development of collaborative programs designed to support the careful management and conservation of the species under our care in order to ensure that they survive for future generations.
Note: In 1980, the AZA was known as the American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums (AAZPA).