On September 27, Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums – Aquariums et Zoos Accrédités du Canada (CAZA-AZAC) provided the Vancouver Aquarium with accreditation as an Institution member. The Aquarium also received re-accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) earlier this year.

The rigorous accreditation processes, which occur every five years, involve an inspection by veterinarians and senior zoology professionals. The inspection teams thoroughly audited all aspects of the Vancouver Aquarium’s operation, including animal care, enrichment, nutrition, conservation, research, education, security, public safety, financial stability and administration.

The renewal of our accreditation reflects the Vancouver Aquarium’s history of excellence and leadership in conservation, research and education. In fact, we were the first aquarium in the world to receive formal accreditation by an independent accreditation commission in 1975.

As part of this year’s CAZA-AZAC Annual Conference, we received two prestigious awards: 

Col. G.D. Dailley Award

This award was presented to the Vancouver Aquarium for achievement leading to the long-term survival of at-risk species. It was considered merited by outstanding work and achievement in the ex-situ propagation of the endangered Rocky Mountain population of northern leopard frogs.

The northern leopard frog was once the most common amphibian in North America, but is now red-listed in British Columbia and endangered in Canada. The work carried out by our Aquarium team involved the challenging but successful reintroduction of tadpoles, raised from the assurance breeding group established at the Aquarium. The resulting population in the wild represents only the third such group currently existing in the province.

Volunteer of the Year

Each year CAZA-AZAC recognizes one volunteer among the legions across Canada who deliver much-needed and appreciated support for accredited zoos and aquariums through their untiring efforts.

This year’s award recipient was Nicole Clouthier of Vancouver Aquarium. Everyone was blown away by Nikki’s 46 years of volunteer commitment at the Aquarium and over 12,100 hours of volunteer service! Nikki is still actively delivering programs and providing leadership to the aquarium’s volunteer community through her exemplary work. Congratulations, Nikki, and thank you for your unwavering support from all your friends at Vancouver Aquarium.

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