Wild animals have been kept in captivity for thousands of years and there is still a wide quality gap between the top and the second grade zoos in Europe. EAZA’s policy is not to ignore this; the association has created a Candidate for Membership category for substandard zoos (in Eastern Europe) providing a framework through which they can be supported by the EAZA Technical Assistance Committee. The committee consists of experienced zoo staff working in EAZA member institutions, with support and coordination provided by the EAZA Executive Office. It draws on a wide range of experts such as managers, veterinarians, curators and educators to cover all zoo-related fields.

Improving standards

EAZA is prepared to assist zoos that are committed to improving their standards of animal welfare and zoo management, and that are willing to become modern zoos adhering to the vision set out in the World Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Strategy. Our ultimate goal is to bring more zoos and aquariums into the EAZA network, but only if they can demonstrate a commitment to improving their standards in all areas.

The Technical Assistance Committee encourages sharing of knowledge between zoos and provides practical support and advice for improvements in areas such as animal welfare, enclosure design, visitor services, education, veterinary medicine and conservation. Applying political pressure on relevant political authorities to encourage change or to provide additional budget and support is another way in which the committee helps zoos.

Foundations and individuals who are interested in working to improve standards at progressive, but sub-standard zoos in Eastern Europe may wish to consider providing financial support for the work of the EAZA Technical Assistance Committee. Please contact Sofieke Bouwman to discuss the possibilities.

Candidates for Membership

Assistance is provided to institutions located in Eastern European countries that have been accepted into EAZA’s Candidate for Membership programme. The Technical Assistance Committee focuses on their standards of animal welfare and zoo management, encouraging the sharing of knowledge between zoos and providing practical support and advice for improvements. They also encourage the members of these institutions to participate in seminars and conferences and to run workshops within their region to improve their level of traning and to facilitate the transmission of information and the sharing of advice and knowledge between experts and to improve networking between institutions. For more details about these workshops, please visit the workshop page.

The following institutions are enrolled as Candidates for Membership:

Almaty Zoological Park Almaty Zoo Almaty, Kazakhstan
 Brasov Zoo
Brasov Zoo Brașov, Romania
 Kaliningrad Zoo
Kaliningrad Zoo Kaliningrad, Russia
 Lithuanian Zoo
Lithuanian Zoo Kaunas, Lithuania
 Feldman Ecopark Feldman Ecopark Kharkov, Ukraine
 Kharkov Zoo Kharkov Zoo Kharkov, Ukraine
 Kiev Zoo Kiev Zoo Kiev, Ukraine
 Nikolaev Zoo Nikolaev Zoo Nikolaev, Ukraine
 Novosibirsk Zoological Park Novosibirsk Zoo Novosibirsk, Russia
 Osijek Zoo Osijek Zoo Osijek, Croatia
 Zoo Palic Palic Zoo Palić, Serbia
 Qalqilya Zoo Qalqilia Zoo Qalqilia, Palestine
 Sarajevo Zoo Sarajevo Zoo Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
 Skopje Zoo Skopje Zoo Skopje, Macedonia
 Sofia Zoo Sofia Zoo Sofia, Bulgaria
 Leningrad Zoo Leningrad Zoo St Petersburg, Russia
 Tblisi Zoo Tbilisi Zoo Tbilisi, Georgia
 Tirgu-Mures Zoo Tirgu-Mures Zoo Tîrgu-Mureș, Romania
 Yerevan Zoo Yerevan Zoo Yerevan, Armenia

For information on the Technical Assistance Committee or applying for Candidate for Membership, please contact Sofieke Bouwman.


The new technical assistance manual 'The Modern Zoo: foundations for Management and Development' describes all aspects involved in managing a zoological institution and is intended for use by all staff working in zoos and aquaria.

For a complete overview of EAZA's governing documents, guidelines, strategies, position statements and other documents, please visit the Documents section of this website. 

The Modern Zoo cover