The greatest efforts for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity need to focus on measures in the wild. This is the primary focus of EU level action through the Birds and Habitats Directives, the EU Biodiversity strategy, the Regulation on Invasive Alien Species and EC wildlife trade regulations implementing CITES, all of which contribute to achieving objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity & other international agreements. Ex situ' conservation is also required for biodiversity conservation. In this context the Zoos Directive (Council Directive 1999/22/EC) was... adopted to promote wild animal species protection and conservation by strengthening the role of zoos in the conservation of biodiversity. This is to be achieved by Member States adopting measures for the licensing and inspection of zoos in order to ensure that zoos respect the foreseen conservation and protection measures including appropriate accommodation of the animals. Member States are responsible for applying the provisions of the Zoos Directive and ensuring their necessary enforcement. . There is a very limited EU role in implementation as the Directive does not foresee the need for a committee or reporting obligations to the Commission. However, a lot of good practice approaches have been developed to assist the role of Zoos in strengthening the contribution to biodiversity conservation, through initiatives such as those of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA). Building on this experience the Commission launched a study contract with a view to promoting the sharing of experience and of good practice for the implementation of the Zoos Directive aimed at supporting practitioners and Member States in implementing the spirit and requirements of the Zoos Directive. This has involved consultation with experts and practitioners in different Member States and with different representative bodies concerned with Zoos. This included a dedicated expert workshop, which took place in Brussels in November to share draft results of the study. The document reports on the findings of this study and aims to to summarise the current state of knowledge and highlight good practices to support practitioners and Member States with a view to helping them achieve the overall objective of strengthening the role of zoos in the conservation of biodiversity.