Friday, October 19, 2007

News from the World Wildlife Fund

Press Release: The World Wildlife Fund announced on Oct. 16 that it has named Dr. K. Ullas Karanth as the winner of the 2007 J. Paul Getty Award for Conservation Leadership. The annual award honors outstanding contributions to international conservation and carries with it a $200,000 prize. Karanth, a scientist with the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), is the first tiger expert to win the award.

Karanth, an active conservationist in southern India for the past 25 years, was honored for a career devoted to the science of endangered species and their habitats, WWF officials said.

"The Wildlife Conservation Society is justifiably proud that Ullas Karanth has been honored by the World Wildlife Fund's J. Paul Getty Award for Conservation Leadership," said Dr. John G. Robinson, WCS Executive Vice President and Director for Global Conservation Programs. "Dr. Karanth has been a tireless fighter for tiger conservation for more than two decades, and has helped show the world that there is hope for these emblematic big cats."

As part of WCS's efforts to save India's critically endangered tiger, Karanth has conducted India-wide surveys of tigers to better determine their numbers and habitat needs. Using camera traps to capture their unique stripe pattern on film, Karanth has improved accuracy in assessing the number of tigers in India's Nagarahole National Park and his efforts have facilitated the creation of three protected areas in the Western Ghats. He has also done innovative work on voluntary resettlement, benefiting people and wildlife. He is currently working through WCS's "Tigers Forever" program to conserve tigers throughout Asia.

(Photo credit: World Widlife Fund)

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