Photo of a rhino outlined.

Here at the Potter Park Zoo, we are incredibly passionate about our conservation efforts. We’re making an impact by contributing to research, fieldwork, and donating funds to conservation organizations.

Our mission is to inspire the conservation of animals and the natural world. You too can help save wildlife!

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:

AZA Safe

AZA Safe is a conservation program developed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) that focuses on saving animals and protecting their habitats. The program works towards creating a future where all animals are safe from extinction and thriving in their natural habitats. You can learn more about the current AZA SAFE Species at Potter Park Zoo here.

Conservation Events

Attend these events at the zoo to help us make a big impact with our conservation efforts! Many of these events have programs that 100% of the proceeds go to conservation. You can view our full list of conservation events here.

Projects and Programs

Potter Park Zoo hosts a hub of conservation initiatives that are making a real difference in the world! From breeding and releasing the endangered Puerto Rican crested toad, to banding fledgling Peregrine falcon chicks, and conducting field research on Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnakes and American Pine Martens, the zoo is at the forefront of wildlife conservation. The Rhinoceros Signature Project is another significant undertaking aimed at black rhino conservation and scientific research. Potter Park Zoo also plays a critical role in the USFWS Recovery Program for the Great Lakes Piping Plover, which involves hand-rearing chicks and releasing them into the wild. And let’s not forget about the Potter Park Zoo AAZK chapter, which raises funds for a variety of conservation projects and holds a Bowling for Rhinos event every August. Click here to learn more about the zoo’s incredible conservation efforts!

Ways to Make a Difference

Join us in making a difference while visiting Potter Park Zoo! With our Quarters for Conservation display, guests can learn about endangered species and donate a quarter to their favorite one. All donations go directly to conservation organizations working to save these species in the wild. Plus, Potter Park Zoo matches the donation for the species with the most quarters donated, so your contribution can go even further.

Looking for a collectible item that supports conservation? Stop by the admissions booth or AniMall Gift Shop and purchase a conservation bookmark for just $1. All proceeds go directly to conservation efforts.

And don’t forget to check out our Penguin Exhibit to learn more about the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch® program, which helps consumers choose seafood that supports a healthy ocean. Join us in our passion for conservation and make a difference today! You can learn more here.