The mission of the Arizona Center for Nature Conservation (ACNC)/Phoenix Zoo’s Conservation and Science Department is to provide zoo-based support for conservation in the field. Through our native species conservation and research efforts based at the Phoenix Zoo and our grants programs, we proudly participate in and support meaningful field conservation projects throughout our region and across the globe. Our Conservation & Science Grants Program has helped advance the conservation and research efforts of well over a hundred projects around the world. 

Currently our global conservation funding supports our sustaining grant partners’ projects through an invitation-only process. We are proud of the support we have been able to provide to many conservation projects through our annual grant process, but we will no longer be soliciting or accepting proposals.

Conservation projects supported by the phoenix zoo:

AFRICAN PAINTED DOG

Through the AZA's African Painted Dog SAFE Program, the Phoenix Zoo supports the Cheetah Conservation Initiative's efforts to track and census West Africa's last population of African painted dogs in Senegal's Niokolo-Koba National Park. We also support a range-wide conservation planning process for African painted dogs.
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AFRICAN PANCAKE TORTOISE

The Phoenix Zoo supports Turtle Survival Alliance's work in Kenya to conserve African pancake tortoises through population monitoring, augmentation and research. We also provide general support for Turtle Survival Alliance's work to protect and restore wild populations of tortoises and freshwater turtles around the world.
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AMUR LEOPARD

Through WildCats Conservation Alliance, the Phoenix Zoo supports the Wildlife Conservation Society's work to monitor and protect the roughly 100 or fewer wild Amur leopards that remain in northeastern China and the Southwest Primorskii Krai region.
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ANDEAN BEAR

The Phoenix Zoo supports the AZA's Andean Bear SAFE Program, which has two priority projects. The range-wide conservation project works with numerous partners to map and prioritize key Andean bear conservation areas across the species' range. Another project works with the Colombian National Natural Park System to identify the best sites for targeted Andean bear habitat restoration and to develop tools to monitor the success of restoration efforts.
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ASIAN ELEPHANT

The Phoenix Zoo supports HUTAN and Seratu Aatai's efforts in Malaysia's Kinabatangan region to better understand elephant ecology in agricultural landscapes and to design resilient landscapes for people and elephants to co-exist peacefully.
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CALIFORNIA CONDOR

The Phoenix Zoo provided emergency funding to The Peregrine Fund to support their response to a deadly outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza among wild California condors in Arizona and Utah in 2023.
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CHEETAH

Through the AZA Cheetah SAFE program, the Phoenix Zoo supports workshops to bring cheetah conservationists and range country officials together to plan cheetah conservation strategies.
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CHINCHILLA (SHORT-TAILED)

The Phoenix Zoo supports the AZA's Chinchilla SAFE Program, which works with partners in Chile to verify locations of remaining short-tailed chinchilla colonies and use this data to expand and connect protected areas for population recovery. The project also aims to increase technical and scientific knowledge about the short-tailed chinchilla. Efforts include population genetics research, developing and implementing a permanent monitoring program for chinchilla colonies using camera trap and acoustic recording methodologies, and informing species recovery and conservation decisions within the framework of Chile’s National Short-tailed Chinchilla Conservation and Recovery Plan.

COWNOSE RAY

The Phoenix Zoo supports the AZA Shark and Ray SAFE Program, which coordinates action across zoos, aquariums, and a global network of conservation partners to influence positive change for sharks and rays. We help fund conservation initiatives such as planning workshops for species of conservation concern, research on shark and ray health, and Shark & Ray Awareness Day activities.
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GIANT ANTEATER

The Phoenix Zoo supports the Anteaters & Highways Project in Brazil, which is working to understand and mitigate the threats that highways pose to giant anteaters. This project also monitors the release of orphaned giant anteater pups to evaluate best practices for reintroductions.
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GIANT ARMADILLO

The Phoenix Zoo supports the Giant Armadillo Conservation Program's work in Brazil to prevent the extinction of giant armadillos by conducting research, managing habitat, lobbying, conducting scientific tourism and environmental education activities, addressing human-wildlife conflicts, raising awareness and promoting the species as a flagship species.
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GREVY’S ZEBRA

The Phoenix Zoo supports Grevy's Zebra Trust's "Grevy's Zebra Warrior Program," for which local "warriors" monitor wild Grevy's zebra populations in northern Kenya and work with local communities to support them to effectively manage their grass and water resources to benefit people, livestock and wildlife—including zebras.
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KOMODO DRAGON

Through the Komodo SSP's Conservation Fund, the Phoenix Zoo supports efforts in Indonesia to assess annual changes in population density for wild Komodo dragon populations, estimate prey abundance across different Komodo dragon sites, and provide field training and support to Komodo National Park technical and ranger staff to undertake camera trap monitoring activities.
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LION

The Phoenix Zoo supports Lion Landscapes' work with villages in a wildlife management area of southern Tanzania, using a football (soccer) tournament to raise awareness about carnivores and elephants and prevent human-wildlife conflict. In addition to the sports tournament, the project conducts education sessions in secondary schools and holds film nights in communities to raise awareness.
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LOUISIANA PINE SNAKE

The Phoenix Zoo supports the Memphis Zoo's research to to detect and identify the potential presence of pathogenic protozoan parasites and other gastrointestinal parasites among snakes living in habitat occupied by the imperiled Louisiana pinesnake. The results will inform recommendations for health assessment and screening protocols for zoo-bred Louisiana pinesnakes being released to the wild.
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MANED WOLF

Through the AZA Maned Wolf SAFE program, The Phoenix Zoo supports maned wolf protection and recovery efforts in Argentina. In 2023, SAFE contributions like ours are being used to support conservation planning efforts as well as GPS-collar tracking of maned wolves that have been rescued, rehabilitated, and released back to the wild.

MARIANA FRUIT DOVE

The Phoenix Zoo supports Pacific Bird Conservation's efforts to provide birds of the Mariana archipelago (including the Mariana fruit dove) with the best possible chances of survival by preserving, maintaining, and establishing self-sustaining populations of native birds secure from threats posed by the invasive brown tree snake.
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MASAI GIRAFFE

The Phoenix Zoo supports the Giraffe Conservation Foundation's work to assess the conservation status of Masai giraffes in Saadani National Park, Tanzania, through intensive photographic mark-recapture surveys. Results will inform local and national giraffe management efforts and aid updates of the overall conservation status of Masai giraffes.
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MEXICAN WOLF

The Phoenix Zoo supports the purchase of trail cameras to assist Arizona Game and Fish Department's efforts to monitor Mexican wolf populations, including monitoring den sites to determine reproductive success.
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ONE-HORNED RHINOCEROS

The Phoenix Zoo supports the International Rhino Foundation's work with local partner Aaranyak and community members near Manas National Park in India to restore rhino habitat in the park, including removing invasive plants that choke out native rhino food plants and have taken over important rhino areas.
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ORANGUTAN (NORTHWEST BORNEAN)

The Phoenix Zoo supports Health in Harmony's work with communities and local partners to protect Bornean orangutan habitat in Gunung Palung National Park, Indonesia. Specifically, our funds support the Chainsaw Buyback program that helps transition illegal loggers to alternative livelihoods and youth conservation education efforts that incorporate conservation curriculum at schools, lead national park field trips for youth, and facilitate youth planetary health campaigns.
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RADIATED TORTOISE

The Phoenix Zoo supports the AZA Radiated Tortoise SAFE Program, which aims to use the collective expertise of the AZA community to support field partners' work to recover critically endangered radiated tortoises in Madagascar. One of the main objectives of the SAFE program is to support the release of radiated tortoises confiscated from the illegal wildlife trade into high-quality habitat, along with subsequent monitoring of the tortoises. The program also supports engagement with local communities, including constructing and outfitting schools along with facilitating environmental awareness programs.
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RUPPELL’S GRIFFON VULTURE

As part of our commitment to AZA's African Vulture SAFE program, the Phoenix Zoo supports The Peregrine Fund's work in Kenya to monitor and conserve African vultures, including Ruppell's griffon vulture. This project seeks to avert the poisoning of scavenging vultures and predators such as lions that occurs when people retaliate against livestock depredation. The project conducts community-based coexistence trainings to raise awareness about the dangers of poisoning and to teach people how to build predator-proof bomas (corrals) for livestock.
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SUMATRAN TIGER

Through the Tiger SSP's Tiger Conservation Campaign, the Phoenix Zoo supports WCS-Indonesia's work to conserve Sumatran tigers by responding to and preventing human-tiger conflict in villages surrounding two important tiger landscapes in Sumatra. In these landscapes, we also help fund ranger patrols that combat poaching and habitat encroachment.
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VARIABLE HARLEQUIN FROG

The Phoenix Zoo supports ProCAT Costa Rica's work to monitor and identify threats for wild populations of the variable harlequin frog, which was considered extinct in Costa Rica for years but was rediscovered in 2008.
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WRINKLED HORNBILL

As part of our commitment to the AZA's Asian Hornbill SAFE program, the Phoenix Zoo supports Gaia's work to protect and preserve wrinkled hornbills and nine other hornbill species throughout Malaysia.
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