Conservation Influencers

Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums

Washington DC

Founded in 1987, the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks and Aquariums (AMMPA) is a trade association dedicated to supporting public display facilities, education, scientific research, and to the rescue and rehabilitation of animals in the wild. It is, in essence, a voluntary professional international body committed to protecting animal welfare, which has appointed itself as the accrediting institution for marine parks, aquariums, zoos and research establishments. To become an accredited member of the Alliance, facilities must meet or exceed its Standards & Guidelines, which apply to the care of all marine mammals, including dolphins, seals, sea lions, sea otters, manatees, whales (particularly killer), walrus and polar bears. 

AMMPA regularly finds itself on the receiving end of animal rights campaigners’ criticisms. For example, in 2019 the Animal Welfare Institute co-authored, with World Animal Protection, the fifth edition of THE CASE AGAINST Marine Mammals in Captivity

AMMPA is, however, hostile to fishing communities in Japan, Faroe Islands and other countries that participate in so-called dolphin and whale drive hunts. It says captive facilities should not purchase wild dolphins captured from these sources. The AMMPA’s Brussels office is active in CITES, the Convention on Biological Diversity, (CBD), and the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS).


President & C.E.O, Kathleen Dezio.


Self-governing membership-based professional organization.


Not disclosed.

About the directory

Conservation Influencers is a searchable directory of the animal activist, environmental and ecological lobby. It examines the history, mission, methodology and reputation of NGOs to assess their impact on the global conservation cause.


Wildlife Conservation Society

In 1906, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) put an African man on display in Bronx Zoo’s Monkey House. In 1918, one of WCS’s founding fathers, Madison Grant, published Passing of the Great Race, which Adolf Hitler referred to as his ‘Bible’. Another leading creator and early leader of WCS, Henry Fairfield Osborn Sr, was also a founder of the American Eugenics Society. His son headed WCS from 1940 to 1968, overseeing a series of major initiatives in Africa. There, WCS became one of the architects of the prohibition movement, which put wildlife for consumptive use and vast regions of land out of bounds to humanity. In 2020, WCS distanced itself in public from the racist views of Grant and Henry Fairfield Osborn Sr. But it has yet to issue a critical account of the legacy of Fairfield Osborn Jr, even though he led WCS into the modern era while sharing similar politically-inspired ecological goals to his father and Grant. WCS devotes considerable financial resources to influencing outcomes at CITES. WCS’s CEO reportedly earns USD$1,320,978.