Bird conservation projects nominated for Whitley Award

Harpy Eagle in Panama. Photo by Haui Ared/Wikimedia Commons
Harpy Eagle in Panama. Photo by Haui Ared/Wikimedia Commons

Each year, the Whitley Fund for Nature, a U.K.-based charitable organization that supports the efforts of conservationists in the developing world, presents the Whitley Award — also referred to as the “Green Oscar” — to recognize individuals for their outstanding conservation work with local communities in biodiversity-rich, resource-poor countries.

The award ceremony will take place in London on May 18. Six finalists, who were selected from 169 applicants, will each receive more than $45,000 (£35,000). Three of the six are involved in bird conservation efforts. They are:

  • Indira Lacerna-Widmann, head of the Katala Foundation in the Phillippines, for her work partnering with prison inmates to safeguard the Critically Endangered Philippine Cockatoo (Cacatua haematuropygia).
  • Dr. Purnima Barman, wildlife biologist at Aaranyak, a conservation-focused Indian NGO, for inspiring women to protect the Greater Adjutant Stork (Leptoptilos dubius) and its wetland habitat in the Indian state of Assam.
  • Dr. Alexander Pilar Blanco Marquez, a veterinarian in Venezuela, for his work with Programa de Conservación del Águila Harpía in conserving Harpy Eagles (Harpia harpyja).

Princess Anne, the daughter of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, will present the awards, as well as an additional honor, the Whitley Gold Award, to Zafer Kizikaya, for his work on conserving coastlines and marine reserves in Turkey.

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