Posted on 3 April 2012
Carl Jones with an echo parakeet
Following on from December’s announcement that he had been nominated for a prestigious animal conservation award, Carl Jones has been selected as a finalist to receive the 2012 Indianapolis Prize.
The University of Wales Alumni is one of six outstanding conservationists in contention for the $100,000 Indianapolis Prize, who were narrowed down from an original 29 nominees (which included fellow alumni Gerardo Ceballos).
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 spend their lives saving the Earth’s endangered animal species.
Carl Jones, Ph.D., spearheads work in the Mascarene Islands and it’s because of his tireless dedication to preserving the ecology and native species of these small, remote islands in the Indian Ocean – and saving a dozen species from certain extinction – that he was named as a finalist.
Challenging field conditions, limited funding, government bureaucracy and skepticism of colleagues never discouraged Carl Jones, scientific director of the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation and International Conservation Fellow at the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, from his work in the Mascarene Islands. He is personally credited with the leading role in saving a dozen species from extinction, including the Mauritius kestrels, pink pigeons and echo parakeets whose effective populations were less than 10 and now range in the hundreds. He has revitalized dozens of degraded islets, controlled invasive species, and re-introduced endemic plants, reptiles and birds. Currently, he is working on the restoration of the entire Mascarene Island’s ecosystem – which is no small feat.
Born and raised in Carmarthen, he received both his masters of science and his doctorate from the then University of Wales, Swansea. He currently splits his time between Wales and Mauritius for his work.
Speaking about what it meant to him to get through to this stage of the Indianapolis Prize cycle, Carl Jones commented:
“I am very pleased to be among the finalists since it gives recognition to the work I have spent my whole career doing. It is good to see work on smaller species such as Pink Pigeons, Mauritius Kestrels and Telfair’s Skinks being recognised, after all these species are in their own way equally as charismatic as some of the larger animals. It also shows greater recognition for the techniques that we have used to restore these species such as captive breeding, reintroduction, translocation and the intensive management of wild populations. I hope that the greater recognition for this type of work is signalling a greater acceptance of hands on management of endangered species, in addition to the more passive approaches of protecting them.”
Speaking about all 6 finalists, Indianapolis Prize Chair Myrta Pulliam said:
“These conservationists’ long-standing commitment and die-hard perseverance to protect endangered species and their environments embodies the mission of the Indianapolis Prize. We are honored to recognize their efforts.”
The winner of the 2012 Indianapolis Prize receives $100,000, along with the Lilly Medal, to be awarded at the Indianapolis Prize Gala scheduled for 29 September 2012 in Indianapolis.
Read Carl Jones previous Q&A on what December’s nomination meant to him here.
For more information about the 2012 Indianapolis Prize, please click here