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Conservation


The Phoenix Zoo is involved with conservation locally, nationally and internationally. Our primary goal of involvement is to make a difference in the conservation of a species or habitat. We seek ways to support field conservation through our work at the zoo. The Arthur L. and Elaine V. Johnson Native Species Conservation Center serves as the hub for our local species conservation efforts. We work with state and federal agencies to help save endangered species such as black-footed ferrets, Chiricahua leopard frogs, narrow-headed gartersnakes and many others.

National and international conservation involvement is a critical part of the Phoenix Zoo’s conservation mission. We support conservation globally through our Conservation and Science Grants Program. We support or initiate conservation efforts throughout the world that are consistent with our organization’s conservation mission: support for field conservation efforts with an emphasis on local community involvement and capacity building. Find out more about native species work and our global conservation efforts by subscribing to the Conservation and Science Newsletter , or by visiting our conservation webpage .

Additionally as an AZA accredited facility, we are intensely involved in species conservation through the AZA Species Survival Plans (SSP) a cooperative population management program that aims to maintain a healthy and self-sustaining population of species.

Below are just a few of the many successful conservation programs that we are proud to participate in here at the Phoenix Zoo.

 



The Arabian oryx once ranged throughout the desert regions of the Arabian Peninsula extending to the Syrian Desert. It had been hunted since ancient times, but with the advent of motorized vehicles and high-powered weapons, its numbers drastically declined in the 1940s and ‘50s.

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The Phoenix Zoo is the only zoo in Arizona that houses great apes, and one of only 48 zoos in the United States and Canada that houses orangutans. In April of 2010, the Phoenix Zoo was proud to unveil Orang-Hutan: “People of the Forest.”
 

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The Sumatran tiger, Panthera tigris sumatrae, is critically endangered with fewer than 400 animals remaining in the wild and is considered to be the most vulnerable of all the remaining tiger subspecies. They tend to inhabit montane forests, peat and freshwater swamp forests and what remains of the island’s lowland forests exclusively on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

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The Southern white rhinoceros is one of five remaining species of rhinoceros (two African species and three Asian species) alive today. Southern white rhinos are currently listed as Near Threatened by the IUCN with approximately 20,000 animals remaining worldwide. Their survival is a portrait of conservation success as their numbers were less than 100 in 1895. Unfortunately, the only other surviving subspecies of white rhino, the Northern white rhinoceros, is currently near extinction with an unsustainable wild population of only four animals.

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Grevy’s zebras are endangered with less than 2,500 left in the wild due to loss of habitat, competition with livestock and poaching. As the largest zebra species, Grevy’s can be distinguished from other zebras by their longer legs, narrower stripes, white, stripeless underbelly and large rounded ears. Grevy’s zebras are only found in northern Kenya and south-eastern Ethiopia.

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The Mexican gray wolf is the rarest, smallest and southernmost species of 39 gray wolf subspecies. Once common throughout central Arizona and neighboring western Texas, southern New Mexico and northern Mexico, the Mexican wolf hasn’t been documented in its natural habitat since 1980. The Phoenix Zoo, home to five male Mexican wolves, is proud to join an effort that has led to a reintroduced population of at least 75 Mexican wolves currently living in an area of Arizona and New Mexico known as the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area. .

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Black-footed ferrets are one of the most endangered mammals in the world. They are a member of a large group of mammals known as mustelids, or musk-producing animals.

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