Roger Williams Park Zoo earned accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) in 1986; we were the first New England zoo to do so. Our accreditation is your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things.
Collectively, AZA zoos and aquariums represent the finest institutions and are visited by more than 130 million people each year. (That's more people than attended professional baseball, basketball, football and hockey combined.) Accreditation is a detailed review and inspection process covering all aspects of an institution's operation including the animal collection; veterinary care; physical facilities; safety; security; finance; staff; governing authority; support organization; involvement in education, conservation, and research; and adherence to AZA policies. Accreditation takes place every five years and is required for zoos and aquariums to be members of AZA.
With its more than 200 accredited members, AZA is a leader in global conservation and your link to helping animals in their native habitats through your local AZA institution. AZA accredited zoos and aquariums like Roger Williams Park Zoo are helping to preserve thousands of animals regionally and around the world through wildlife conservation programs with an annual average of over a thousand conservation projects in 90 plus countries along with hundreds of books, book chapters, journal articles, conference proceedings papers, posters and theses or dissertations on wildlife management and biology.
Advocating for Animals
AZA works cooperatively with the U.S. Congress, federal and state government agencies, and international conservation organizations on legislative and regulatory matters pertaining to animal welfare, wildlife conservation field programs, conservation research and education initiatives and the public display of wildlife, including animal care and husbandry, transport and breeding. AZA also participates in a number of international treaties and conventions impacting wildlife, including the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), the International Whaling Commission, and the Convention on Biological Diversity.
AZA Programs at Roger Williams Park Zoo
Roger Williams Park Zoo participates in a number of nationwide AZA conservation and animal management programs, including the Population Management Plan Program , Taxon Advisory Groups and others. One of the most important AZA programs we participate in is the Species Survival Plan Program (SSP). The SSP is one of our most powerful tools in combating extinction. AZA founded the program in 1981 as a cooperative population management and conservation program for selected threatened and endangered species at North American zoos and aquariums.