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Saving Sharks and Other Marine Wildlife With MarAlliance

Houston Zoo and MarAlliance staff measuring a shark to keep track of healthy growth.

If you come to the Zoo you will help save sharks and other marine wildlife. The Houston Zoo utilizes a portion of your admission ticket to provide support to a marine wildlife conservation organization called the MarAlliance based in Central America. MarAlliance’s vision is simply to see more big fish like sharks and other wildlife in the sea. They work with local fishers to monitor marine wildlife and determine the best ways to protect them.

MarAlliance has marine wildlife monitoring and awareness programs in Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.  The Houston Zoo has provided many forms of support for the MarAlliance.  Our Houston Zoo staff photographer has helped through photo cataloging while another staff member assisted them with strategic planning.  In May, Houston Zoo conservation and media staff members traveled to Belize to teach a conservation messaging video workshop for MarAlliance and eight other marine conservation organizations in Central America. The workshop focused on teaching participants video techniques and effective methods of communicating conservation messages.  We also assisted with their protection efforts by working alongside their local fisherman staff and to tag sharks and swim specific areas to count and record marine wildlife like sharks, rays and sea turtles.

Houston Zoo and MarAlliance staff checking in on the health of a very large sea turtle!

MarAlliance and the Houston Zoo are working hard to ensure protection for our ocean.  You can help by committing to eating only ocean-friendly sea food, which means seafood that has been caught in ways that is healthy for the ocean and other marine animals.  All of the seafood we serve to our animals and humans at the Zoo is ocean-friendly.  You can help protect our oceans in your everyday life by using the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch app to guide your seafood choices.  Download the app from the Apple Store or Google Play.

Working with Sea Turtles : Update

On Thursday May 26, NOAA Fisheries and the Houston Zoo released nine sea turtles at Stewart Beach in Galveston, Texas surrounded by hundreds of onlookers. Six of the turtles are Kemp’s ridleys, the other three are loggerheads. All but one of the turtles suffered injuries related to fishing interactions when they were accidentally caught and swallowed fishing hooks. The degree of rehabilitation and length of stay at the NOAA sea turtle facility in Galveston varied, ranging from one week to nine months. Call 1-866-TURTLE-5 to report an injured sea turtle.


A sea turtle being released in May 2016


Travel With Us

Wildlife and Landscapes: Greater Yellowstone in Winter
February 2 – February 8, 2017

Travel to a winter wonderland, visiting the best sites in Grand Teton and Yellowstone to view moose, bighorn sheep, pronghorn, eagles and the wildlife of Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park. Enjoy looking for wolves in Lamar Valley and learning about all the packs in the park from our knowledgeable guides. You’ll take pleasure in looking for elk and bison in North America’s “Little Serengeti,” and famed scenic highlights of the world’s first national park!

Capture a great photo of a bison in the snow!
Capture a great photo of a bison in the snow!

Experience the Great Sandhill Crane Migration
March 13 – March 15, 2017

Encounter one of the greatest wildlife phenomena in North America. Cranes come, as they have for thousands of years, to this incomparable stretch of the Platte River— an estimated 500,000 cranes in all—to rest, feed and concentrate in astonishing numbers before pushing on to their breeding grounds in the north. You’ll stay at the Crane Trust’s Wild Rose Ranch in south-central Nebraska to witness one of the largest concentrations of sandhill cranes in the world.

Witness the migration of Sandhill Cranes


Upcoming Event

Saving Wildlife Expo 
Saturday, April 25, 2017

The Houston Zoo is partnering with the Wildlife Conservation Network to host an all-day conservation event here at the Zoo. Conservation leaders will speak about how they are working to save lions, tapirs, native Texas animals, zebras and sharks and rays at this full-day event.


Every time you visit the Zoo, you help save animals in the wild.


MarAlliance SCF Trip-0011-0262

If you have any questions about our programs and partners, or would like any additional information, email us at .