Your donation helps the Aquarium build environmental awareness in people of all ages and protect more of the region’s streams, rivers and aquatic animals.
and learn more about all of our animals and educational
opportunities. Learn More >>
A new opportunity for high school students! Spend a week with scientists from the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute and learn how to save animals in your own backyard and around the globe. During the week, we will explore our rivers, start conservation projects, and learn from conservation leaders in our community. Find out more here!
We have successfully reintroduced tens of thousands of imperiled aquatic species into southeastern rivers, including fishes, turtles, and snails. We incorporate genetic, behavioral, and ecological data to optimize captive propagation programs so that released animals will form a strong base for a healthy wild population.
We are using field studies and genetic research to identify which southeastern regions have the greatest biodiversity. This knowledge is vital for conservation planning in the Southeast because it can be used to identify hotspots of diversity that deserve increased protection.
We monitor reintroduced animals to ensure the newly established populations are flourishing. We also survey major southeastern river drainages to assess the health and distribution of other aquatic species by comparing them to their historical ranges. These surveys are necessary to identify declines in aquatic animals before the animals become severely imperiled so their impacts can be mitigated by further conservation work.
We are currently developing a database of locality data for 62 imperiled fish species in the southeast. Ultimately there will be online access to interactive maps, species information and photographs. This program will allow site visitors to learn about imperiled fish species in our region but will also provide scientists with consolidated locality and collection data for species of interest. To build these maps we have collected information from 27 universities and museums that have historic fish collection records. We plan to increase the number of museums along the way in order to capture all of the available information into one interactive source. We also plan to expand the number of species and even taxa that are represented in the database over time.