Posted on 19 December 2011
Carl Jones and Gerardo Ceballos
Two University of Wales Alumni have been nominated for the 2012 Indianapolis Prize, the world’s leading award for animal conservation. Acclaimed animal conservationists Gerardo Ceballos and Carl Jones are among the 29 nominees who have devoted their lives to saving the Earth’s endangered species.
Gerardo Ceballos, who graduated from the then University College of North Wales, Bangor with an MSc in Ecology, is a native of Toluca, Mexico, and has been nominated for being a world leader in evaluating and designing conservation strategies for both endangered species and threatened ecosystems. His groundbreaking research has led to the protection of vital ecosystems in Mexico that shelter dozens of endangered species. Most recently, Ceballos conducted the most comprehensive jaguar study worldwide, including the first jaguar census in any country.
Carl Jones, who obtained both his MSc and PhD from the then University of Wales, Swansea, is the scientific director of the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation (MWF) and international conservation fellow of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, He has been recognized for his achievements in bringing rare species on the brink of extinction back to long-term survivability. He has been involved in the recovery of five bird species coming from populations of less than 10 individuals, including the Mauritius kestrel, the pink pigeon, and the echo parakeet. Currently, Jones is working on the restoration of whole island ecosystems.
Speaking of their nominations, both nominees were both deeply honoured and also pleased that it provided an opportunity to bring global attention to the importance of animal conservation.
Gerardo Ceballos said: “The nomination for this award is an honour to me, because it is recognition of my work and dedication to save nature. The recognition gives me strength to continue working hard on conservation issues.”
Carl Jones added: “When I was nominated I was thrilled since it is good to get some recognition for the work that we have done but also for the species. The conservation of endangered species is very achievable and I hope that awards like the Indianapolis Prize help convince people of this.”
The work of all the Indianapolis Prize nominees spans the globe, representing a range of species and locales. In addition to receiving the $100,000 Prize, the recipient is also awarded the Lilly Medal, an original work of art that signifies the winner’s contributions to conserving some of the world’s most threatened animals.
“The current nominees are remarkable,” said Michael Crowther, president and CEO of the Indianapolis Zoo, the organization responsible for initiating the conservation award. “Each conservationist has his or her own unique story and has made significant contributions toward the preservation and awareness of Earth’s precious wildlife.”
The Nominating Committee will review the applications and six finalists will be announced in the spring of 2012. The Prize Jury will then determine the winner, who will be announced in mid-2012 and honored at the next Indianapolis Prize Gala.
An in-depth Q&A session with the two nominees can be found on the University of Wales Alumni pages, Please click here.