Six Finalists Announced for World’s Top Animal Conservation Award | State


Six Finalists Announced for World's Top Animal Conservation Award | State


Heroes for chimpanzees, seahorses, penguins and more in the running for the 2020 Indianapolis Prize and $250,000

INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 18, 2020 /CNW/ — Officials from the Indianapolis Zoological Society, Inc., the presenter of the world’s leading award for animal conservation, today named the six Finalists that will contend for the 2020 Indianapolis Prize and $250,000. The Indianapolis Prize Finalists represent the world’s most successful professional wildlife conservationists, biologists and scientists, and their heroic work has saved dozens of animal species and their habitats from extinction.

“The rate at which animal extinctions have occurred over the last century is at least 100 times higher than what can be considered natural.  More than one million animal species are now threatened with extinction.  We can all find hope and inspiration in the victories of these conservationists who do the difficult work of saving animal species,” said Dr. Rob Shumaker, president and CEO of the Indianapolis Zoological Society. “The Indianapolis Prize exists to celebrate and elevate the achievements of these heroic individuals. Their work proves that success is possible, and there are genuine reasons to be hopeful for the future of the natural world.”  

The Indianapolis Prize recognizes and rewards conservationists who have made significant progress in saving an animal species, or multiple species, from extinction. Every other year, the Indianapolis Prize awards $250,000 to one Winner, while five Finalists receive $10,000 each.

“The 2020 Indianapolis Prize Finalists have developed effective approaches to wildlife conservation that are being implemented and replicated all over the world,” said Wes Sechrest, chief scientist and CEO of Global Wildlife Conservation and an Indianapolis Prize Nominating Committee member. “They have persisted despite long odds and countless obstacles to protect species that contribute to Earth’s ecosystems. These individuals are not just accomplished and impressive – they are heroic. We should celebrate them and answer their call to action.”

The six Finalists for the 2020 Indianapolis Prize are:

  • Dr. P. Dee Boersma of the University of Washington and Center for Ecosystem Sentinels (Penguins)
  • Dr. Christophe Boesch of the Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology and Wild Chimpanzee Foundation (Chimpanzees)
  • Dr. Gerardo Ceballos of the Institute of Ecology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (Jaguars, black-footed ferret)
  • Dr. Sylvia Earle of Mission Blue, Deep Ocean Exploration and Research, Inc., and SEAlliance (Marine life)
  • Dr. John Robinson of the Wildlife Conservation Society (Terrestrial and marine life)
  • Dr. Amanda Vincent of The University of British Columbia and Project Seahorse (Seahorses)

The six Finalists for the 2020 Indianapolis Prize were selected by a nine-person committee representing the scientific and conservation communities, as well as the City of Indianapolis and the Indianapolis Zoological Society. Finalists were evaluated for the significance of their achievements in the conservation of an animal species or multiple species; the measurable outcomes resulting from their work; the quality of science involved in their conservation efforts; the number of years dedicated to conservation work; and a demonstrated spirit of cooperation with zoological societies and other like-minded institutions.

“While the challenges facing wildlife and wild places are sizable, so too is our will to make a difference. These Indianapolis Prize Finalists remind us that we are succeeding every day, and solutions are within our reach,” said actor and Indianapolis Prize Honorary Chairwoman Jane Alexander. “This award offers an important platform to advance hope for species and empower people all over the world to become conservation heroes in their own right.”

The Winner of the 2020 Indianapolis Prize will be announced later this spring and honored at the Indianapolis Prize Gala presented by Cummins Inc. on Sept. 12, 2020.

For extended biographies and multimedia assets for the 2020 Finalists, click here to access the Indianapolis Prize press kit. To learn more about previous Indianapolis Prize Winners, visit IndianapolisPrize.org.

About the Indianapolis Prize

The Indianapolis Prize recognizes and rewards conservationists who have achieved major victories in advancing the sustainability of an animal species or group of species. Winners receive an unrestricted $250,000 award. Remaining Finalists each receive $10,000. Since 2006, the Indianapolis Prize has administered more than $1.3 million in unrestricted cash awards. The Indianapolis Prize is administered by the Indianapolis Zoological Society.





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