Indianapolis Prize thrusts conservationists into spotlight, names nominees


Among the nominees is Claudio Sillero, Ph.D. (Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Program— Founder and executive director of the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme, keeping watch over Africa’s rarest and most endangered carnivore. Trialed first intervention methods and rabies vaccinations for at-risk populations.

Normally hiding behind the scope of a camera or a pair of binoculars, 32 conservationists are being brought out of the woodwork — and the tree cover, the ocean currents and the mountain caverns.

The Indianapolis Zoo announced today the nominees for its biennial Indianapolis Prize, which recognizes those who work to protect and preserve endangered animal species around the globe.

Spanning nearly every continent, these animals include the tree kangaroo, Jamaican iguana and slow loris — the last a nocturnal primate native to Southeast Asia with eyes that cover half of its furry face. But as much as the conservation work is about the animals, the prize — which comes with a $250,000 cash award — is about recognizing those who carry out the work.

The nominees, who represent scientists and researchers from around the world, have started countless programs that have rebuilt habitats, restored species and been responsible for many research firsts.

2016 winner Carl Jones said this year’s crop of nominees is inspiring.

“There is far too much doom and gloom in the world, so it’s good to be with people who are visionaries,” said Jones, whose work helped reestablish the Mauritius kestrel species, among others. “This shows that individuals can make a difference, and it reminds me how optimistic we should be for the future of our planet.”

A nominating committee and jury will select six finalists and determine a winner, who will then be honored at the Indianapolis Prize Gala held on Sept. 29, 2018.

The nominees work with a variety of species all over the world, but many have significant projects or notable programs in specific countries or regions. The nominees are organized alphabetically by region, but go to this story online to read more about the conservationists.

Continue reading here.

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