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The Zoo and Wildlife Nutrition Foundation (ZWNF) was established in 2012 in support of the AZA Nutrition Advisory Group by a group of individual leaders within the field of zoo and wildlife nutrition.  The ZWNF is a non-profit organization established for the purpose of:

  • contributing expertise and providing funds to support zoo and wildlife nutrition programs worldwide,
  • furthering the science of zoo nutrition,
  • facilitating the dissemination of nutrition knowledge, and
  • developing the next generation of zoo nutrition leaders.

Over the last ten years (2012-2022) the Foundation has been quite successful in meeting its goals. We have provided over $56,000 to support training qualified zoo nutritionists through the SCARF program, $9,000 to support 21 students to travel and participate in nutrition conferences around the country, and $10,477 to support 6 research projects.

With a strong ten years behind us, we look towards the future with clear expectations of continued (and amplified) success. To this end, the Foundation proposes the continued attention to the original purposes of the organization while working towards independent goals to further the field of zoo nutrition. Some of these goals include:

– renewed commitment to and expansion of the SCARF, research, and travel grants,

– working to develop brand recognition for the Foundation being recognized as a trusted and knowledgeable resource to help define the future of the field of zoo and wildlife nutrition, and

– increasing the emphasis on strategic partnerships with other zoo and wildlife nutrition organizations.

Given the resource-challenged environment within which zoos, aquariums, and wild animal parks must function, the partnership between the AZA NAG and the ZWNF is designed to maximize the impact that professional zoo nutritionists have on the care and management of our current and future collections, as well as on the training and leadership of the next generation of zoo nutritionists.

The future of this collaboration appears very bright for the impact both groups can have on the field as a whole, as well as all to the groups we collectively serve and partner. If you have any questions or are interested in supporting these efforts, please do not hesitate to reach out to any of the ZWNF Board members to see how you can become involved or how your financial support can best be used to contribute to the continued success.

[updated: 22 Dec 2022]

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