Together with 300 other European zoos, Burgers’ Zoo is part of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA). This international partnership was founded in 1992 and aims to enable European zoos to collaborate in their efforts towards education, research and conservation.
Besides creating awareness, a modern zoo must actively protect animals and nature. In addition to informing and raising awareness among the millions of visitors, annual campaigns are organised so that zoo visitors can voluntarily donate to concrete projects within the EAZA.
The EAZA coordinates annual campaigns to draw attention to an urgent problem in the field of nature conservation. Creating awareness is an essential function of a modern zoo. Awareness of the beauty of animals and nature, but also for the need to actively protect animals and nature. Within the framework of education through recreation, zoo visitors are given the opportunity to see, experience and learn all about wild animals. The animals in zoos and aquaria are the ambassadors for their wild counterparts.
In addition to informing and raising awareness among the millions of visitors, annual campaigns are organised so that zoo visitors can voluntarily donate to concrete projects within the EAZA. Each year, the EAZA focuses on a specific endangered animal species or endangered nature reserve. In 2001, for example, the EAZA focused on Bushmeat and in 2018 on the conservation of Asian songbirds. Besides financial support, the association also influences legislation through politics.
Modern, scientific zoos need each other! Zoos have long since stopped taking animals from the wild. Nowadays, zoos take care of the long-term preservation of their populations themselves. The European Endangered Species Program (EEP) pays particular attention to a healthy population of these endangered species, possibly even for reintroduction. This requires breeding programmes, which in turn requires close collaboration between zoos.
The association also lays down guidelines regarding, for example, the housing of animal species and the sustainability efforts made by zoos.
The EAZA has been running successful campaigns for many years. Together we are stronger, and we have the law of large numbers on our side: not only regarding the millions of visitors reached but also the millions in donations we can bring in. The EAZA has achieved several encouraging results. For example, the Bushmeat campaign brought the illegal poaching of endangered species in Africa to the attention of all of Europe, and thanks to the Ape campaign, it is now mandatory in Europe to state on food products if they contain palm oil. This measure contributes to the preservation of the habitats of orangutans and gibbons.