INDIANAPOLIS — A total of 39 conservationists who have dedicated their lives to saving Earth’s endangered species have been nominated to receive the biennial Indianapolis Prize, the world’s leading award for animal conservation.
The winner of the prize will receive an unrestricted $250,000 cash award and the Lilly Medal. Five other finalists will each receive $10,000.
The nominees’ work spans the globe and represents a range of species including chimpanzees, snow leopards, sea turtles, giant pandas, bats, and swans. An international nominating committee composed of renowned professional conservationists and local representatives reviews all nominations and selects six finalists, who will be revealed in the spring of 2014. The prize jury will then determine the winner, who will be announced in mid-2014 and honored at the next Indianapolis Prize Gala presented by Cummins Inc., to be held Sept. 27, 2014, in Indianapolis.
“The current nominees are exceptional and they represent many of the most significant wildlife conservationists working in the field today,” said Michael Crowther, president and CEO of the Indianapolis Zoo, which initiated the Indianapolis Prize as part of its core mission. “Increasingly more species are at risk of extinction, and these heroes deserve our recognition and support for their expertise, accomplishments, and tireless efforts protecting them. We encourage people around the world to celebrate the nominees’ important work and to join them in advancing animal conservation.”
In alphabetical order, the nominees for the 2014 Indianapolis Prize are:
Joel Berger, Ph.D.: (Wildlife Conservation Society) Distinguished scientist leading projects including pronghorn antelope migration corridor conservation, impacts of energy development on wildlife in Greater Yellowstone, impacts of climate change on musk ox in the Alaskan Arctic, and saiga antelope conservation in Mongolia.
Christophe Boesch, Ph.D.: (Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology) Primatologist dedicated to decreasing pressure on wild chimpanzees, providing alternatives to bush meat, and applying new technology to great apes conservation.