From: Indianapolis Prize
Published July 18, 2012 02:05 AM

Indianapolis Prize Seeks Next Animal Conservation Hero
Nominations for the 2014 Indianapolis Prize Now Open, Close Next February

INDIANAPOLIS – Nominations for the 2014 Indianapolis Prize, the world’s leading award for animal conservation, will be accepted from now through February 28, 2013. The $100,000 biennial award is given to an individual animal conservationist who has made significant achievements in advancing sustainability of an animal species or group of species. It represents the largest individual monetary award for animal conservation in the world and is given as an unrestricted gift to the chosen recipient.

Anyone can nominate a candidate for the Indianapolis Prize. To be accepted as a nominee, individuals must have accomplished a personal achievement or series of achievements that have resulted in a demonstrable positive impact on a species or group of species that is likely to improve the species’ likelihood of long-term survival.

For complete guidelines and to learn more about the nominating process, send an email to or call (317) 630-2710. Once your request has been received, a nomination form with instructions will be sent by return email, if applicable.

The winner of the 2012 Indianapolis Prize is Steven C. Amstrup, chief scientist for Polar Bears International. Amstrup’s three decades of polar bear research and his unwavering conviction that solutions can and must be found are creating new optimism that polar bears can be saved from extinction. In 2007 Amstrup led an international team of researchers to assess the likely future impact of global warming on polar bears. The group’s nine reports, relied on by the Secretary of the Interior, and became the basis for the 2008 listing of polar bears as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. This listing is significant because the polar bear is the first species – and only species to date – to be listed on the basis of threats posed by global warming.

The Indianapolis Prize was first awarded in 2006 to Dr. George Archibald, the co-founder of the International Crane Foundation. The 2008 winner was George Schaller, Ph.D., senior conservationist for the Wildlife Conservation Society and Vice President of the Panthera Foundation. 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 established the African elephant bill, the most successful funding program for the species to date.

Past nominees and finalists for the Indianapolis Prize are representative of the most significant conservationists throughout the world. Among the more than 100 outstanding scientists who have been nominated are 2012 nominees Russell Mittermeier, one of the first academic primatologists to become concerned with the sustainability and conservation of primates; Carl Jones, personally credited with the leading role in saving a dozen species from extinction including the Mauritius kestrels, pink pigeons and echo parakeets; and Rodney Jackson, the world’s foremost expert on the mysterious and endangered snow leopard.

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. The recipient also receives 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 Indianapolis Prize has received support from the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation since its inception in 2006.

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