We are the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA) and we represent Canada’s best zoos and aquariums. The 25 members of CAZA have gone through a thorough assessment , called accreditation that ensures that all of them meet the highest standards in all areas of their operations.
It is the national voice of the zoo and aquarium community in Canada. Representing the leading zoological parks and aquariums, it promotes the welfare of animals and encourages the advancement of conservation, education, and science.
Canada’s accredited zoos and aquariums are a vital connection to the natural world for an increasingly urbanized population. They bring the reality of animals and their threatened environment to people in a way that raises awareness and motivates positive action to ensure the future of the world’s wildlife.
CAZA was formed in 1975 as a national, not-for-profit organization. Since that time the Association has represented the profession with government and the media, it has created national awards programs that recognize the conservation and education efforts of its members, developed a state of the art accreditation program and created a cooperative species management program called the Canadian Collection Plan. Most recently CAZA finalized a Conservation and Science plan to guide the efforts of the association and developed Education standards that will ensure that all of its members are delivering quality education programming to the millions of visitors that come to their institutions annually.
CAZA member zoos and aquariums are dedicated to the highest standards of animal care. They nurture, protect and care for more than 100,000 animals representing over 2000 species. Often these animals are the last representatives of endangered species.
Many of these endangered species survive because of zoo and aquarium captive animal management programs. CAZA’s members participate in close to 800 ex-situ programs and are directly involved in 20 field projects, most linked directly to reintroduction programs. CAZA’s Canadian Collection Plan (CCP) is a long-term breeding and conservation plan, that provides insurance against extinction for key Canadian endangered species such as the Vancouver Island Marmot, Burrowing Owl, Loggerhead Shrike, , Black-Footed Ferret and others.
Canadian accredited zoos and aquariums participate in in-situ conservation programs in Canada and around the world. In 2005 they were involved in over 60 projects that since their inception had resulted in expenditures of $1,750,000.00. Some of the projects are supported financially, in many other cases staff from the institution is directly involved in doing the work.
Support CAZAs accredited institutions by attending their facilities and supporting their programs. You can also support many of the Canadian Conservation programs that their members are involved in. If you have a zoo in your community that is not CAZA accredited encourage them to become a CAZA member. To find a CAZA accredited institution near you and to learn more about CAZA and what its members do, visit CAZA’s official website.