Skip to main content


Since 2000 the European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA) has been running conservation campaigns raise awareness for endangered species and support projects financially. The campaigns run for two years each under a changing focus.

The participating zoos give these topics a stage with exhibitions or events and join forces fundraising for the selected conservation projects.

The "Zoo Animal of the Year" is a campaign launched by the Zoological Society for the Conservation of Species and Populations, the German Zoo Society, the Gemeinschaft deutscher Zooförderer e. V., and the Association of Zoological Gardens.

The focus is on highly endangered species in conjunction with conservation projects in their home areas.

Zoo animal of the year 2022: Warty pig

Warty pigs are highly threatened: Their habitat is being destroyed, they are hunted as a food source, and they are genetically mixing with free-ranging or feral domesticated pigs. In addition, the animals are coveted as live prey for a bloody business. Dogs are set upon them in arenas for betting or public entertainment. Currently, however, there is another major threat to the warty pigs: African swine fever, a viral disease that is almost always fatal for pigs and is increasingly spreading. Especially for warty pig species that live only in very limited areas, e.g. on small islands, the disease can lead to the complete extinction of the population in a short time.

Wilhelma supports a project in the Philippines for the preservation of the Visayan warty pig. Since the animals often cause crop damage, they are hunted very heavily and are threatened with extinction. We support the breeding of the animals on site and help to find ways to reduce the human-animal conflict.

Ein von der Ausrottung bedrohtes Visayas-Pustelschwein
Picture: R. Wirth

EAZA Campaigns

Which Fish? (2019-2021)

The oceans cover about 70% of the surface of our planet and provide resources for millions of people. Overfishing, destructive fishing practices and marine pollution are the greatest threats to the oceans' ability to remain functioning ecosystems and provide essential resources. Fish and aquatic invertebrates are essential for coastal populations as a source of food and income. Fish stocks must be conserved and properly managed to avoid massive losses.

The campaign addressed how zoos and aquariums contribute to the overfishing and keeping of marine life. Participating organizations have committed to reviewing the purchase of fish for display, the purchase of food for fish-eating zoo animals (such as sea lions) and also the respective catering offer for best sustainability.

Our closest relatives are severely threatened by the destruction of their habitats. 300 European zoos have joined forces in the campaign to raise as much money as possible for long-term support of great ape conservation projects. By the end of 2011, more than €420,000 had been collected!

Wilhelma alone contributed €15,000 of this amount and received the Gold Award for its efforts.