The Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE), a joint initiative of biodiversity conservation organizations from around the world, aims to prevent extinctions by identifying and safeguarding key sites, each one of which is the last remaining refuge of one or more Endangered or Critically Endangered species. Click here for a list of member organizations.

AZE is first focusing on species that face extinction either because their last remaining habitat is being degraded at a local level, or because their tiny global ranges make them especially vulnerable to external threats. Outside the scope of the Alliance, many AZE members are also working to protect highly endangered species that are more wide-ranging and require different conservation measures.

AZE uses the following criteria to identify priority sites (a site must meet all three to qualify):


  1. Endangerment. An AZE site must contain at least one Endangered (EN) or Critically Endangered (CR) species, as listed on the IUCN Red List.

2. Irreplaceability. An AZE site should only be designated if it is the sole area where an EN or CR species occurs, contains the overwhelmingly significant known resident population (>95%) of the EN or CR species, or contains the overwhelmingly significant known population (>95%) for one life history segment (e.g. breeding or wintering) of the EN or CR species.

3. Discreteness. The area must have a definable boundary within which the character of habitats, biological communities, and/or management issues have more in common with each other than they do with those in adjacent areas.

AZE scientists working in collaboration with an international network of experts have so far identified 588 such sites that must be effectively protected to prevent the extinction of 920 of the world’s most threatened species (many sites have more than one AZE “trigger species” confined to them).

To date, AZE has identified sites for those taxonomic groups that have been globally assessed for threat level: mammals, birds, some reptiles (crocodilians, iguanas, turtles, and tortoises), amphibians, conifers, and reef-building corals. Other taxa will be added as data become available.

By drawing global attention to these areas, we aim to prevent the most imminent species extinctions. Once a systematic effort to conserve these sites and species is underway, AZE will expand its focus to additional areas, and wider-ranging highly threatened species.

AZE welcomes the participation of any group or individual sharing our concern for the future of our planet’s biodiversity, and wishing to help in this vital global endeavor. If your organization wishes to join AZE or if you or your organization wish to help support the Alliance's conservation efforts, please contact Mike Parr, Secretary of the Alliance: 202 234-7181 x 204, .


Learn more about AZE Site Selection


List of AZE Steering Committee and Contributors

Learn more about AZE Site Selection

Generalized Site Identification Methodology