Our Association
Raymond Wiltshire

Our Association

The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) is the professional body representing the best zoos and aquariums in the UK and Ireland. We have more than 100 zoo and aquarium members whom we support in their commitment to be at the forefront of conservation, education and research.

These days’ modern zoos and aquariums are much more than places where the public can go to view a range of different animals. Whilst providing a safe and fun-filled family day out is something our members are understandably proud of, by displaying the BIAZA logo our zoos and aquariums are also demonstrating their dedication to conserving the natural world through research and conservation programmes and to educating and inspiring their visitors to do the same.

BIAZA is a member of both the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), and the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) and through this network our members collaborate on a global scale to further conservation science, natural history and environmental education and animal welfare.

Our Structure

A major component of the work carried out by BIAZA is related to the conservation, research and education role of zoos and aquariums. This includes managing coordinated breeding programmes, providing support for habitat and species conservation in the wild and inspiriting people about the wonder of nature and wildlife.

To achieve our Mission, BIAZA enlists the help of a number of committees and working groups with representatives from across BIAZA’s membership to share their expertise with members. Driving the direction of their work is the BIAZA Council who, along with BIAZA’s CEO, develop the Association’s five-year strategy.

Facts & figures:
Tal Chohan

Facts & figures:

  • More than 35 million people visit BIAZA collections every year
  • Our zoos and aquariums deliver formal education sessions on site for more than 1.2 million children and students
  • More than 1,300 research projects are supported by our members,  ranging from training projects for undergraduate students to published work from postgraduates
  • BIAZA members actively support more than 850 field conservation projects
  • Financial contributions to conservation by BIAZA collections equates to approximately £31 million

Our History

The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) was formerly known as the Federation of Zoological Gardens of Great Britain and Ireland until 2005. The Federation was initially founded in 1966 with representatives from 9 zoos and bird gardens (Bristol, Chester, Edinburgh, London, Paignton, Dublin, Dudley, Tropical Bird Garden and Birdland), under the chairmanship of the Earl of Cranbrook. The Federation aimed to see standardised principles and practices adopted in animal management in the British Isles, whilst ensuring members achieved and maintained high standards which was monitored through an inspection procedure.

In 2005 the Federation became BIAZA in recognition of a new direction towards modernisation. The primary reason for the change in name was to encompass a wider remit and by changing from a federation to an association BIAZA was able to highlight the importance of leading members in conservation, research and education, as well as relevant legislation and policy. This change also included the membership of aquariums, adaptation to the modern concept of zoos and representation of the zoo and aquarium community equally.