PALM DESERT, Calif. -

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) recognized The Living Desert Tuesday for its role in maintaining the planet's diverse wildlife and natural habitats in its Annual Report on Conservation Science.

The report focuses on conservation projects that have a direct impact on animals in the wild. Data submitted by AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums and compiled by the AZA, concluded the institutions contribute around $160 million a year to wildlife conservation, supporting more than 2,650 conservation projects in 130 countries.

“To be a part of global wildlife conservation efforts is deeply rewarding for all of us at The Living Desert, and we’re dedicated to continuing our work to make a positive impact for the many endangered and threatened species around the world, as well as inspire others to participate,” says Stacey Johnson, President/CEO of The Living Desert. 

While The Living Desert entertains and educates the public with its wildlife exhibits and programs, the zoo also works to foster cooperative research and biological studies contributing to the protection of endangered and threatened wildlife and global ecosystems.The Living Desert was recognized by the ARCS for its work with ten specific programs and projects:

  • Desert Pupfish Ex Situ Refugia Management
  • Desert Tortoise Conservation Education Program
  • Endangered Southwestern Gray Wolf Distinct Population Segment Recovery Planning
  • Grevy's Zebra Trust
  • Mecca Aster Propagation and Habitat Restoration Project
  • Peninsular Pronghorn Recovery Project
  • Sahara Conservation Fund
  • Termit Carnivore Project
  • Urban Bee Survey
  • Yucatan Jaguar Project

“AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums are global leaders in wildlife conservation,” says Jim Maddy, AZA President/CEO. “While AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums provide great care to animals in their facilities, they are also working around the world to make a positive impact for many imperiled species.”

For more information, contact The Living Desert at 760-346-5694, or visit www.LivingDesert.org