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.
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 eleven separate SSP programs representing the following species:
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.
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.
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