Fossil Rim is affiliated with a much larger network of national and international organizations dedicated to the survival of all animal species.
Association of Zoos and Aquariums
Fossil Rim Wildlife Center is an Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited institution. AZA-accredited institutions represent zoological parks or aquariums that maintain both a professional staff and a more-than-token collection of wildlife, providing the collection with appropriate care and exhibiting them in an aesthetic manner on a regularly scheduled, predictable basis. Institutional members have as their primary business the exhibition, conservation and preservation of the earth’s fauna in an educational and scientific manner.
All zoos and aquariums must be accredited to become members of AZA. This involves undergoing a thorough review that includes a detailed accreditation application, as well as a multiple-day, on-site inspection by a team of experts from around the country.
Zoological Association of America
Fossil Rim is also an accredited member of the Zoological Association of America (ZAA) and is evaluated for reaccreditation every five years. The ZAA promotes responsible conservation, preservation and propagation of animals in both private and public domains.
Conservation Centers for Species Survival
Fossil Rim Wildlife Center is a member and home base of the Conservation Centers for Species Survival (C2S2), a group of large conservation facilities dedicated to cooperative conservation and research for the advancement of species conservation. Established in 2005, C2S2 applies its unique resources for the survival of species with special needs; especially those requiring large living areas, natural group sizes, minimal public disturbance and scientific research. Current priorities include the study and development of sustainable populations of various ungulates, birds and carnivores.
International Rhino Foundation
The International Rhino Foundation (IRF) was founded in 1989 (our late owner, Jim Jackson, was a founding member) as the International Black Rhino Foundation (IBRF). Originally, the IBRF was formed to assist in the conservation of black rhinos in Zimbabwe, both through efforts in the wild and in zoos. Then in 1993, they broadened their conservation efforts to include all five species of rhinos and became the International Rhino Foundation as a result.
Jackson remained active in the organization, retiring from the board of directors in 2008. Since that time, our executive director, Dr. Patrick Condy, has been a member of the board. The IRF website states, “The IRF is involved in programs both in nature and in captivity, both of which IRF believes are critical for the survival of rhinos. The IRF focuses on the species most in need of, and most appropriate for, intensive protection and management.
“IRF focuses its projects where conservation will have its most significant impact, and when possible, is a catalyst and facilitator rather than a primary implementer. Additionally, the IRF provides linkages between captive and wild populations of rhinos with the ultimate objective of helping captive populations become truly viable and hence an integral part of conservation strategies for rhinos.”
Sahara Conservation Fund
The Sahara Conservation Fund (SCF) was created to conserve wildlife and habitats within the Sahara and Sahelian grasslands of Africa. Since 2009, Fossil Rim has been an active participant in SCF and deployed its hoofstock curator for SCF’s scimitar-horned oryx reintroduction project in North Africa.
Saola Working Group (SWG) of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
The IUCN Saola Working Group strives to conserve saola in the wild and raise awareness for the protection of its habitat in the Annamite Mountains of Laos and Vietnam. Discovered in 1992, the saola is one of the most endangered mammals in the world and is listed by IUCN as “critically endangered.” Fossil Rim has donated funding to this working group.
Giraffe Conservation Foundation
The Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) aims to protect all giraffe species in the wild, increase awareness about the need for conservation and create an international network of people and groups dedicated to ensuring a future for giraffes and their habitats. Fossil Rim has participated in GCF’s World Giraffe Day to raise funds and awareness for giraffe conservation.
Exotic Wildlife Association (EWA)
The Exotic Wildlife Association (EWA) is North America’s oldest and most successful organization of non-native wildlife breeders and managers. The EWA is the leading advocate and defender of animal-owner rights and for-profit species conservation.
When ranchers formed the Association in 1967, they had a variety of concerns for the industry. Many of those concerns and interests are shared by EWA’s current membership.
Second Ark Foundation
The Second Ark Foundation aims to conserve both native and exotic species in the United States with a focus on antelope, deer and wild sheep. Fossil Rim provided funding for an addra gazelle GPS study regarding herding behavior on a 50,000-acre Texas ranch, which was a project involving the Second Ark Foundation, the Exotic Wildlife Association and Texas AgriLife.
United States Department of Agriculture
The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers the Animal Welfare Act, under which Fossil Rim is required to annually renew its license to keep exotic wildlife on its property. This entails at least one unannounced inspection a year by an APHIS inspector. All annual USDA/APHIS facility inspection reports nationwide can be viewed on their website.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) directs the recovery program for the Attwater’s prairie chicken and Fossil Rim is heavily involved in breeding this species. Each year, these birds are released into the USFWS’s Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge near Eagle Lake, Texas. Fossil Rim also participates in the USFWS’s red wolf and Mexican gray wolf recovery programs.
Tarleton State University
In 2013, Fossil Rim and Tarleton State University (TSU) signed a memorandum of understanding to further collaboration between the two organizations. This includes wildlife and range/habitat research, student training, marketing, public relations, communications, business management and horticulture. In 2012, TSU’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, together with Fossil Rim as a secondary participant, secured a large grant from the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) for “International Natural Resource Management Addressing Food Security and Hunger Through Integrated Research, Education and Outreach in Resource Conservation and Sustainability.”
Glen Rose Independent School District
Fossil Rim has signed a memorandum of understanding with Glen Rose High School (GRISD). The objective is to provide real-life exposure to high school students across the many different jobs and professions active at Fossil Rim, in order to help students gain insight as to what their future careers might be.