In 1992, Riga ZOO joined the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) and became an internationally accredited zoo. Hereby our duty is to maintain high, internationally recognized and unified standards in animal welfare and other areas of zoo activity.
EAZA brings together more than 400 organizations from 48 countries in Europe and elsewhere in the world. The association develops regional species conservation and captive population management plans, maintains studbooks (of 440 species by the end of 2023) and develops standards for good animal husbandry practices, ethical zoo operation, as well as environmental education and scientific activities. By participating in the international zoo society, Riga ZOO has committed not only to ensuring animal welfare, but also to participating in biodiversity conservation, investing resources in nature conservation projects and working in environmental education.
Riga ZOO is proud of its active participation and engaging in international councils and working groups to create a unified, high-quality environment for European zoological gardens and aquariums.
EAZA Taxon Advisory Groups (TAG) oversee the ex situ species conservation management programs (EEPs), decide on new programs and define their scope of action, as well as regularly evaluate the effectiveness of existing programs. They develop good practice guidelines for maintenance of the species of these taxa, including nutrition, health, reproduction and other welfare issues. TAG members are employees of EAZA member organizations, but scientific advisers are drawn from specialists of various scientific institutions and international nature conservation organizations, as well as particularly experienced and knowledgeable species experts. Riga ZOO participates in the:
Raptor Taxon Advisory Group via TAG scientific advisor Alessandro Di Marzio.
Ex situ programs engage the protection of specific species in EAZA collections – either planning or carrying out environmental education activities, participating in national and international species protection policy-making, implementing fundraising campaigns for species protection, promoting or implementing scientific activities or educating EAZA members about species topicalities and good practices. They also develop long-term management plans for EAZA member collections, determining species breeding strategies and recommendations for members. Riga ZOO is represented in the:
- African pancake tortoise Malacochersus tornieri program by Andris Lazdiņš,
- White-lipped deer Cervus albirostris program by Jūlija Lauberte,
- Grevy’s zebra Equus grevyi program by Tatjana Ivasenko,
- Red-crowned crane Grus japonensis program by Renārs Rozentāls,
- Mountain chicken frog Leptodactylus fallax program by Rebeka Šķērstiņa,
- Maned wolf Chrysocyon brachyurus program by Tatjana Ivasenko,
- South American tapir Tapirus terrestris program by Jūlija Lauberte,
- Pygmy slow loris Nycticebus pygmaeus program by Tatjana Ivasenko,
- Cinereous vulture Aegypius monachus program by Renārs Rozentāls,
- Mishmi takin Budorcas taxicolor program by Alessandro di Marzio.
The basic duty of EAZA members is to regularly attend annual conferences (animal welfare and species conservation forums, environmental education conferences, etc.), where we share our work results and expand our knowledge. In spring 2023, Riga ZOO also had the honor of hosting the European Zoo Nutrition Conference in Riga; and in autumn the Riga ZOO animal collection manager Guna Vītola received an award for lifetime achievements at the annual EAZA conference.