Conservation Efforts

Conservation and preservation of animals and the natural world are core values of the Zoo’s mission.

The Chattanooga Zoo continues to further its mission by promoting local and global conservation projects. The Zoo’s conservation programs have one of the broadest reaches in the Chattanooga area, sharing critical conservation messages with more than 200,000 people annually.

Current Conservation Initiatives

Argentine Jaguar Conservation Project
The Chattanooga Zoo, in partnership with Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo, supports important fieldwork and tracking studies of highly endangered jaguars in Argentina. The Zoo will be importing two captive-born Argentine jaguars into the United States for breeding within the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s Jaguar Species Survival Plan (SSP) program.

Hellbender Conservation Program
The Chattanooga Zoo, in partnership with Lee University is involved in important field research to survey wild populations of Hellbenders, the largest salamander species in the United States. The Zoo is also working to establish a successful breeding program for these rapidly disappearing animals. Hellbenders have never been successfully bred in captivity, and the Chattanooga Zoo has initiated a groundbreaking program to help save these amazing creatures.

If you would like to support our important Hellbender conservation efforts, consider making a donation. Special Hellbender t-shirts are available for purchase in the Zoo Gift Shop with all proceeds benefiting the program. Donations received from the zoo’s wishing well also help support Hellbenders.

SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction Through AZA SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction, for the first time, the entire AZA-accredited zoo and aquarium community will focus on conservation science, our wildlife expertise and our 180 million visitors on saving species in the wild. 

SAFE, AZA and its members will convene scientists and stake holders to identify the threats, develop action plans, raise new resources and engage the public. AZA SAFE harnesses the collective power of all AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums and invites you to join the effort. 

To learn more about AZA SAFE, click here.

Species Survival Plan
The Species Survival Plan (SSP) is a population management and conservation program for selected endangered species in accredited zoos and aquariums across the United States. The Chattanooga Zoo currently participates in 28 separate SSP programs representing the following species: 

Bali Mynah  Chimpanzee Cotton Top Tamarin Jaguar
 Francois Langur Spider Monkey  Chuckwalla  Radiated Tortoise
 Red Panda Snow Leopard Fennec Fox Beaded Lizard
Pancake Tortoise  Black Crested Mangabey Komodo Dragon Chinese Alligator
 Rock Hyrax Roadrunner Sand Cat Puma
 Bushmaster Pied Tamarin Capybara  Kinkajou
 Meerkat Spider Tortoise Forsten's Tortoise   Spotted Turtle 

Conservation Partners

The Zoo Conservation Outreach Group (ZCOG) is a long-time partner of the Zoo. ZCOG works to assist zoological facilities in Latin America. Each year, the Chattanooga Zoo provides a scholarship for a Latin American colleague to attend and present at the Annual AZA Conference.

Proyecto Tití
Proyecto Tití works to protect the endangered cotton-top tamarin and their tropical habitat in the forests of Columbia. The primary focus of Proyecto Tití is to educate local communities about the forest environment and the threats the animals who live in the forest face.
Click here to learn more.

Red Panda Network
The Red Panda Network seeks to save wild red pandas and preserve their natural habitat of mountainous Nepal. Through their international and local approach, the Red Panda Network leads community-based research by educating local citizens and providing them with the necessary training for monitoring the red panda.
Click here to learn more.

Snow Leopard Trust

The Snow Leopard Trust works to protect the endangered snow leopard and its mountain habitat. Since 2006, the Zoo has been an active partner with the trust by hosting lectures, promoting snow leopard conservation, and raising funds for important fieldwork.
Click here to learn more.

Turtle Survival Alliance

The Turtle Survival Alliance works to ensure that there will be zero turtle extinctions in the 21st century. The organization supports this goal through breeding programs, field research, conservation plans, conservation education, and advocating on behalf on turtles.
Click here to learn more.

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