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WRF in the Media

Shared goals and commitment create an excellent foundation for a partnership. Add in complementary skill sets, and you have the type of collaborative conservation efforts taking place in the Zoo-Park and Aquarium-Sanctuary Partnerships for American’s Keystone Wildlife Project, which was founded by Julie Anton Randall with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the National Park Service and NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries in 2019. Anton Randall established the Wildlife Restoration Foundation (WRF) in 2021 to house the project because of its growth.

These formal agreements capitalize on the combined strengths of the AZA community, the federal system of protected lands and waters, and WRF, whose mission is to “directly improve native species numbers, health, habitat, and security in and around parks to achieve population viability in the wild.”


The Columbus Zoo’s conservation and research center and safari park, The Wilds, is forging a path toward bison conservation excellence through the creation of the North American Center for Bison Conservation.  
This initiative will bring together the expertise of The Wilds staff, the Wildlife Restoration Foundation, federal and state natural resource agencies, and tribal entities to manage large-scale bison herds. 


Divers Can Help Prevent Coral Disease

The coral reefs of Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary have thus far been free of coral disease. However, Florida’s coral reefs are currently experiencing a multi-year outbreak of a stony coral tissue loss disease that has now spread over 200 miles across the Florida reef tract. This outbreak is unique due to its large geographic range, extended duration, rapid progression, high rate of coral mortality, and the number of species affected.


Did you know that AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums work with National Parks and Marine Sanctuaries?

Zoo-Park Partnerships and Aquarium-Sanctuary Partnerships are collaborative field conservation efforts that expand the expertise, skills, and resources available to meet urgent park wildlife needs, including propagating, raising, and head-starting wildlife.

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Earth Day with Texas State Aquarium

Located in Corpus Christi, Texas, Texas State Aquarium is one of our Aquarium-Sanctuary Partnerships for America’s Keystone Wildlife. Together, we work to build awareness of the sanctuary and tackle priority issues like coral recovery, invasive species management, and marine debris removal. What better time than Earth Day to celebrate our work together?


Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS) in the Gulf of Mexico offers one of the most memorably beautiful and wildlife-rich dive sites in American waters. But stony coral tissue loss disease—already ravaging Floridian and Caribbean reefs— is a grave danger to this pristine underwater habitat.


Albuquerque, NM - Valles Caldera National Preserve and the ABQ BioPark recently established a Zoo-Park Partnership for America's Keystone Wildlife to provide vital support in the recovery of New Mexico's native wildlife found at the national park site.


As National Park Month commences, newly outplanted mountainous star coral (Orbicella faveolata) are growing in Biscayne National Park (BNP). This important act of conservation is a direct result of a partnership between The Florida Aquarium and Biscayne National Park.


National conservation groups and aquarium partners celebrated the expansion of Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, announced today by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The expansion increases protections within the Gulf of Mexico’s only national marine sanctuary from 56 square miles to 160 square miles and includes 14 critical reefs and banks.


Red River Zoo Receives Genetically Valuable Bison from Wind Cave National Park through a Zoo-Park Partnership for America’s Keystone Wildlife

Wind Cave National Park, SD – On October 15, two female and one male bison were sent by Wind Cave National Park (WICA) to Red River Zoo (RRZ) in a ground-breaking achievement for their Zoo-Park Partnership for America’s Keystone Wildlife and the chance for the zoo to play a direct role in bison restoration.

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The ABQ BioPark has established a Zoo-Park Partnership (ZPP) for America’s Keystone Wildlife to provide vital support in the recovery of New Mexico’s native wildlife at Valles Caldera National Preserve as well as new education and community engagement opportunities at the ABQ BioPark. The goal of these field conservation projects is to measurably increase native wildlife population size, health, viability, and habitat.


Providing vital support to Padre Island National Seashore (PAIS) during the COVID-19 epidemic, Texas State Aquarium (TSA) became the second Aquarium-Park Partnership (APP) to participate in a joint initiative of National Park Service (NPS) and Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) with the signing of a general agreement on December 23, 2020. Called the Zoo-Park Partnerships for America’s Keystone Wildlife Project, this initiative involves 10 other zoo/aquarium and National Park pairs across the country.


Due to the remote location of Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, 80-125 miles offshore, most people will never get a chance to see it in person. So, how can we get people interested enough to care about preserving it? We bring the sanctuary to them through zoo and aquarium exhibits.

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