Another endangered species at Georgia Aquarium is the southern sea otter, which is considered a keystone species because they help maintain the health of kelp forests by preying on sea urchins. Sea otters were once hunted to the verge of extinction and current threats include entanglement in fishing nets, oil spills, and predation by great white sharks.

Another endangered species at Georgia Aquarium is the southern sea otter, which is considered a keystone species because they help maintain the health of kelp forests by preying on sea urchins. Sea otters were once hunted to the verge of extinction and current threats include entanglement in fishing nets, oil spills, and predation by great white sharks.

Caring for Endangered Species at Georgia Aquarium

By: Georgia Aquarium

Georgia Aquarium is proud to care for over ten different endangered species, from small poison dart frogs to the largest fish in the sea, whale sharks. Every day, these animals face natural threats as well as human impacts, and as their numbers decrease it affects our planet’s ecosystems.

June 08, 2022

The research teams at Georgia Aquarium understand the importance of helping these animals and work diligently to increase our knowledge and understanding of these species to create better conservation practices.

While the research teams at Georgia Aquarium often travel to the native environments of these species to aid in conservation efforts, much of their work in done at home. The Aquarium works to understand factors threatening these animals in the wild so that steps can be taken to help them. By observing the animals they care for every day, Georgia Aquarium’s research teams can learn vital information about the behaviors, diets, and habits of these species in ways that would be impossible in their natural habitat.

A great example of this is the endangered whale shark – Georgia Aquarium is the only aquarium in the Western hemisphere to care for whale sharks. Aquarium veterinary staff and researchers study the whale sharks in their Ocean Voyager exhibit every day, including their growth, behavior, health, and genetics. This data will help researchers to better understand and care for whale sharks both on exhibit and in the ocean. Georgia Aquarium was the first to fully sequence the whale shark genome and hone the technique for taking blood from a whale shark underwater.

Through their research, effective conservation, research, and education programs have been developed that are essential to the survival and sustainability of endangered species. Georgia Aquarium is committed to continuing their work with the endangered species both in their care and in natural habitats, as a part of their mission to inspire awareness and preservation of our ocean and aquatic animals worldwide. To learn more about the research and conservation efforts at Georgia Aquarium and around the globe, visit georgiaaquairum.org.

Next Up

Caring for Coral at Georgia Aquarium

Georgia Aquarium is home to a variety of coral species that come in an array of different shapes and colors. The coral reef wall in Georgia Aquarium’s Tropical Diver gallery is one of the largest coral walls in any aquarium. Propagation aquarists at the Aquarium cultivate and transplant live coral from a behind-the-scenes aquaculture pool to the reef wall in their Tropical Diver gallery.

This Summer, Lake Tahoe Will Get 100,000 Fish Back

For hundreds of years, the Lahontan cutthroat trout swam and spawned in the crystal waters of Lake Tahoe, providing food for native tribes and playing an essential role in the balance of the lake’s ecosystem.

Manatee’s Cousins Have Vanished from the Ocean

Dugongs, the peaceful ‘sea cows’ of the ocean have been declared functionally extinct in China. The vegetarian mammal has vanished from the coastlines of Asia and Africa.

This Giant Mushroom Is the Largest Organism Ever

These fungi are larger than blue whales and dinosaurs!

Are Sharks Coming Closer to Our Shores?

Scientists at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science have speculated that variables related to high urbanization may be driving higher occurrences of sharks within coastal waters. With high increased levels of urbanization in coastal cities, it’s important for our world to understand how ocean life adapts to the changes in their habitats.

Meet This Unique Otter Species

A few months ago, Georgia Aquarium welcomed two new additions to their Asian small-clawed otter habitat. Triton, a 4-year-old female, and Han, a 3-year-old male, joined the Aquarium as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Program (SSP).

There is Hope for the Future of Polar Bears Threatened by Climate Change

Scientific researchers have recently identified a sub-population of polar bears in southeastern Greenland that survive by hunting on glacial slush. The discovery of their unique behaviors is helping scientists understand the future of this species whose habitats are threatened by climate change.

Channel Islands: A Tale of Two Worlds

Channel Islands National Park is one of the least visited national parks in the United States, yet it is only about 20 miles from the coast of Los Angeles and the bustling surf and sand lifestyle of Southern California.

Love is in the Air (and the Water) at Georgia Aquarium

Penguins are among the few animals that mate for life; we call this pair bonding. It must have been “bond at first sight” for Charlie and Lizzy, two African penguins at Georgia Aquarium who have been pair-bonded for about 28 years.

How to Help Florida’s Imperiled Manatees

One morning earlier this spring, a young male manatee was found stranded, starving, and distressed on the beach of the Palm Coast.