"For in the end, we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught." -Baba Dioum

Survival for many animals and plants around the world is becoming increasingly difficult.  Potter Park Zoo is dedicated to doing all we can to help preserve these amazing creatures, and to help educate for the future.  That’s why we participate with multiple organizations in conservation efforts regionally and globally to help maintain and protect the amazing biodiversity we all enjoy today.

Species Survival Plan (SSP)

The mission of an AZA Species Survival Plan is to manage and conserve a select and typically threatened or endangered species population. There are currently more than 115 AZA SSP Programs, each of which is responsible for developing a Master Plan that identifies population management goals and recommendations to ensure a sustainable and varied population.  Potter Park participates in several SSP Programs, including:

Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake Research

From 2004 to 2007, Potter Park Zoo in partnership with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, researched habitat selection and movement patterns of the Massasauga Rattlesnake in Southwest Michigan. Potter Park Zoo presented a research document in 2005 at the Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference.

The Zoo Conservation Outreach Group (ZCOG)

ZCOG is an alliance of North American zoological institutions, corporate partners, and individuals dedicated to assisting Latin American zoos and aquariums in their regional wildlife and habitat conservation efforts. They provide technical, material, and financial assistance to zoological institutions throughout Latin America.

National Zoo

Potter Park Zoo collaborated with the National Zoo as part of a hormone study in Black Rhinos for evaluating cutaneous ulceration syndrome. Our two black rhinos were trained for blood collection during the study.