Dr. Jackson in the Running for $250,000 Prize and Animal Conservation Award
Dr. Rodney Jackson, founder and director of Snow Leopard Conservancy, along with 38 other conservationists who have dedicated their lives to saving the Earth’s endangered species – has been nominated to receive the biennial Indianapolis Prize, the world’s leading award for animal conservation. A Prize Jury will determine the winner of the Prize who will receive an unrestricted $250,000 cash award and the Lilly Medal. Five other finalists will each receive $10,000.
“The current nominees are exceptional and they represent 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 to advance animal conservation. “There’s now pretty much a universal understanding in conservation circles that the Indianapolis Prize is the Nobel Prize of animal conservation. If you’re a wildlife conservationist, you want to win this thing.”
An international Nominating Committee composed of renowned professional conservationists and local representatives reviews all nominations and selects six finalists. The six finalists are then sent to the Prize Jury, a separate group that selects the winner. The winner 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.
For the past 35 years, Dr. Jackson has dedicated his life to protecting the wild snow leopard by putting community-based stewardship into action through grass roots conservation initiatives, range-country environmental education, training of herders in wildlife monitoring and collaborative research blending traditional knowledge and modern science.
“Being nominated once again for the Indianapolis Prize is an incredible honor for me personally, but more importantly, it puts a spotlight on the snow leopard–whose disappearance would not only foretell the ecological collapse of high mountain ecology in central Asia, it would deeply affect indigenous communities for whom the snow leopard indicates the state of spiritual and sociocultural well being.” says Jackson.
The Indianapolis Prize was first awarded in 2006 to George Archibald, Ph.D., the co-founder of the International Crane Foundation. The 2008 winner was George Schaller, Ph.D., senior conservationist for the Wildlife Conservation Society and an icon in field conservation around the world. In 2010, the Indianapolis Prize was awarded to Iain Douglas-Hamilton, Ph.D., founder of Save the Elephants, who pioneered research in elephant social behavior and has led the way in fighting poaching of African elephants. Steven Amstrup, Ph.D., of Polar Bears International, received the 2012 Indianapolis Prize for his work with polar bears and the effect of climate change on the world’s largest land carnivore.
About The Indianapolis Prize:
The Indianapolis Prize was initiated by the Indianapolis Zoo as a significant component of its mission to empower people and communities, both locally and globally, to advance animal conservation. This biennial award brings the world’s attention to the cause of animal conservation and the brave, talented and dedicated men and women who spent their lives saving the Earth’s endangered animal species. The Indianapolis Prize has received support from the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation since its inception in 2006.