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The 2006 Indianapolis Prize Winner

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Dr. George Archibald

​​George Archibald, Ph.D., is known for having entered some of the world's most hostile territories, including Afghanistan, Cuba, Russia and the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea, to protect the watersheds and grasslands where cranes live and to help increase migratory flight paths. Dr. Archibald received $100,000 and the Lilly Medal at a gala ceremony for the 2006 Indianapolis Prize. [more ...]


"Zoos throughout this country play a significant role in the worldwide effort for animal conservation," said Jim Maddy, president and CEO of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the national member organization that accredits U.S. zoos. "The Indianapolis Prize is an outstanding addition to the cause of preserving the world's endangered animals, and it is a prime example of a single zoo's ability to increase awareness of and spur action toward conservation of the natural world."

An international nominating committee and jury of distinguished members of the conservation community selected the six finalists from more than 50 of the world's pre-eminent animal conservationist nominees to compete for the Indianapolis Prize. The other finalists included Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton (one of the world's foremost authorities on elephant conservation), Dr. Holly Dublin (chair of the IUCN's largest and most important network of scientists and researchers working to preserve endangered species), Dr. David Mech (the world's leading authority on wolf conservation), Dr. Roger Payne (a pioneer in the study of whale songs and father of the Save the Whales movement) and Dr. Simon Stuart (champion in the preservation of threatened species and senior advisor for the Biodiversity Assessment Initiative).

In addition to the unrestricted award of $100,000, the recipient receives the Lilly Medal. The Lilly Medal design by Rik Tommosone resulted from a competition among teachers and students at the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis. The medal itself is cast in bronze and was presented in a handcrafted limestone display box carved by well-known sculptor Dale Enochs.

​For information on the International Crane Foundation and the remarkable work of George Archibald, click here[close]

The 2006 Indianapolis Prize Finalists

The Indianapolis Prize is pleased to recognize the 2006  finalists for their outstanding work to protect and conserve the endangered animals of our planet. 


Holly Dublin, Ph.D., International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)


Dublin is an international wildlife conservationist who has devoted her professional career to maintaining Africa's wildlife, mostly particularly elephants. She currently serves as the chair of the IUCN's Species Survival Commission, its largest and most important network of scientists and researchers working to preserve endangered species. 
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Iain Douglas-Hamilton, Ph.D., Save the Elephants 


Known as one of the world's foremost authorities on elephant conservation, Douglas-Hamilton founded and serves as CEO of Save the Elephants in Nairobi, Kenya. A pioneer researcher in efforts to conserve the African elephant, as well as a seasoned documentary filmmaker, Douglas-Hamilton is credited with influencing the worldwide ban on the ivory trade and in developing the Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) system of tracking wild elephants.

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 L. David Mech, Ph.D., International Wolf Center

Mech is regarded as the world's leading authority on wolves, serves as a wolf population recovery specialist and is the founder of the International Wolf Center in Ely, Minn. With hundreds of scientific articles, ten books and more than a hundred articles in the popular press to his credit, Mech stands alone as the leading conservationist for these complex and misunderstood apex predators.

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Roger Payne, Ph.D., Ocean Alliance

​With four decades of research and conservation behind him, Payne is a pioneer in whale studies and is president and founder of Lincoln, Mass.-based Ocean Alliance, an organization devoted to the advancement of whale studies. Payne's pioneering work on whale sounds sparked the "Save the Whales" movement, and his landmark recording, "Songs of the Humpback Whale," brought the case for conserving whales into the public consciousness.

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​​​​​​​​​Simon Stuart, Ph.D., International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Best known for his recent work with the Global Amphibian Assessment, Stuart is a champion in the preservation of threatened species and currently serves as a senior advisor for the Washington, D.C.-based Biodiversity Assessment Initiative, which assesses extinction risk of all amphibians. Thanks to the alarms raised by Stuart on the threats to amphibians, action plans to preserve them and their habitats are sparkling conservation efforts throughout the world. ​[close]


The 2006 Indianapolis Prize Nominees 2006

The Nominees for the 2006 Indianapolis Prize included conservationists representing a wide range of scientific and educational programs involving animals from every corner of the globe. [more ...]

In alphabetical order, they were:

Randall Arauz (Programa Restauracion de Tortugas) Worked to prohibit shark finning, required the use of turtle excluder devices in shrimp trawl nets and took leadership role in protection of sea turtles.

George W. Archibald, Ph.D. (International Crane Foundation) Credited with contributing significantly to the preservation of the world's 15 surviving species of crane including the whooping crane in North America.

Randy Borman (Cofan Survival Project) Focused on protection of the Charapa turtle as well as fighting for the conservation of rain forests.

Greg Bossart, Ph.D. (Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution) Led conservation of multiple species including birds of prey, dolphins and whales.

Robin Brockett (Wildlife Care Center of Belize) Focused on conservation of birds and monkeys in Belize and designed a wildlife rehabilitation and release project.

Ian Craig (Lewa Wildlife Conservancy) Focus on species native to East Africa as well as Kenyan wildlife.

Lisa Dabek, Ph.D. (Woodland Park Zoo) Conservation focus is on Matschie's tree kangaroo as well as land initiatives.

Lou Ann & James Dietz, Ph.D. (University of Maryland) Major conservation focus is on saving the golden lion tamarin.

Iain Douglas-Hamilton, Ph.D. (Save the Elephants) Recognized for his relentless protection and preservation of the African elephant — led anti-poaching aid programs in Africa.

Holly Dublin, Ph.D. (South African National Biodiversity Institute) Conservation of African elephants, African Rhinos, African lions as well as a key player in policy work.

Helen Freeman (International Snow Leopard Trust) Focus on snow leopard conservation.

Elizabeth Louise Gadsby (Drill Rehabilitation & Breeding Center/Nigeria) Established Drill Rehabilitation & Breeding Center, considered the world’s most successful captive breeding program for an endangered primate.

Sivha Mbake Godestie (Coalition of Africa Wildlife Foundation) Main conservation attention is given to the biodiversity of the Central Albertine Rift region and mountain gorillas.

John A. Hart (ICCN) Conservation efforts are on multiple species in the Congo.

Ginette Hemley (World Wildlife fund) Special focus of work is on species conservation.

Robert Horwich, Ph.D. (Community Conservation) Horwich focuses his attention on conservation of primates and a mission to help people manage and conserve natural resources.

Rodney Jackson, Ph.D. (Snow Leopard Conservancy) Snow leopard conservation -- Jackson was the first person to radio-collar snow leopards 25 years ago in Nepal, creating the seminal study of the species.

Robert Ross Johnson (Toronto Zoo) Founding member of the World Conservation Union (IUCN) Species Survival Commission’s (SSC) Declining Amphibians Task Force; empowered Canadian citizens to conserve and restore wetland habitat through the Adopt-A-Pond program.

Carl Jones, Ph.D. (Mauritian Wildlife Foundation & International Conservation Fellow) Pioneered population management to reverse the decline of highly endangered species. Jones also created the first national park in Mauritius which involved the recovery of five bird species from populations of fewer than 10 specimens. 

K. Ullas Karanth, Ph.D. (Wildlife Conservation Society) Karanth focuses on tigers, wildlife and wild lands in India.

William Karesh, D.V.M. (Wildlife Conservation Society) WCS— Karesh was responsible for the field veterinary program of the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Mohd Momin Khan (Works with DWNP, IRF & STF) Main focus is on wildlife in Malaysia. Khan was instrumental in pushing through parliament, the Protection of Wildlife Act 1972.  Eleven state game departments were then centralized and funding solved. 

Gerald Kuchling, Ph.D. (University of Western Australia) Conservation efforts focus on endangered turtles – he has significantly contributed to the conservation and recovery of three of the world's 25 most endangered turtles.

Robert Lacy, Ph.D. (Chicago Zoological Society) Specializing in conservation breeding and species survival. Lacy started his professional career by studying fungus-eating fruit flies.  He's also engaged in studies of marsupials and other mammals.

Laurie Marker, Ph.D. (Cheetah Conservation Fund) Cheetah conservation — the accomplishments of Dr. Laurie Marker are recognized around the world. Marker is considered the leading expert in both wild and captive cheetahs. 

J.W. McNutt, Ph.D. (Botswana Predator Conservation Program) Conservation focus is on African painted wild dogs.

L. David Mech, Ph.D. (Biological Resources Division of U.S. Geological Survey) Area of expertise is wolf conservation.

Rodrigo Medellin, Ph.D. (National University of Mexico) Conservation focus is on bat colonies – ecologist with 30 years of bat research.

Elmar Meier (WGA, Westphalian Society for Conservation) Meier is a turtle expert with more than 30 years of experience in breeding turtles.

Cynthia Moss (Amboseli Elephant Research Project) African elephant conservation

Patricia Moehlman, Ph.D. (Equid Specialist Group) Moehlman has dedicated her career to field-based conservation of equids.

William Oliver (Fauna & Flora International) Oliver has spent 15 years of his life conserving threatened endemic Philippine wildlife and has played a key role in formulating recovery programs for threatened species and habitats.

Claudio Valladares Padua, Ph.D. (IPE Instituto do Pesquisas Ecologicas and Wildlife) Black lion tamarin – came up with a strategy to treat the fragmented lion population as one population and also saw the value in working with the people of the area.

Roger Payne, Ph.D. (The Ocean Alliance) Whales – During his four decades of work, Payne discovered that whales sing and that their songs propagate across oceans.  He pioneered research techniques used in over 60 countries.

Paul Pearce-Kelly (Zoological Society of London) Pacific Island land snail – Pearce-Kelly is known for putting invertebrate conservation programs in zoos species conservation work.

Pilai Poonswad, Ph.D. (Mahidol University) Hornbills in Thailand – Poonswad is an icon for the conservation and study of hornbills and is a professor at Mahidol University.

Serge Rajaobelina (Fanamby) Conservation of multiple species in Madagascar including golden-crowned sifaka, giant jumping rat, Madame Berthe's mouse-lemur and the flat-tailed tortoise.

Greg Rasmussen, Ph.D. (Painted Dog Conservation) Painted dogs – Rasmussen proved through research and education that painted dogs were not to blame for killing livestock.  He formed alliances with the parks of Zimbabwe leading to a nearly doubled population of painted dogs.

Gay Reinartz, Ph.D. (Zoological Society of Milwaukee) Bonobos conservation – under Dr. Reinartz' guidance, the bonobo SSP population has increased nearly 275 percent since 1988 and retains more than 95 percent of the genetic founder equivalents.

Michael William Reynolds (World Parrot Trust) Parrot conservation – a world leader in parrot conservation, Reynolds launched a family-run bird park and the World Parrot Trust.

Robert Ridgely (American Bird Conservancy) Birds of Ecuador – Ridgely moved from research to conservation and created a system of reserves to save birds.

Daphne Sheldrick (The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust) South East African baby mammal orphans – Dr. Sheldrick rescued, hand-raised from young and reintroduced into the wild, numerous species of African wildlife.

Willie Smits (Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation) Orangutans – After discovering that young orangutans were being taken from the forest (their mothers killed) to become illegal pets, Smits founded the Wanariset Orangutan Reintroduction Center.

Horst Dieter Steklis, Ph.D. (The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International) African ape conservation – In the past 20 years, Steklis has had an impact on the survival and growth of threatened Vironga mountain gorillas and ecosystems.

Michael Stoskopf, Ph.D. (College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina) Red wolf – Chair of the Red Wolf Implementation Team which has advanced the long-term survivability and sustainability of the red wolf.

Simon Nicholas Stuart, Ph.D. (IUCN World Conservation Union) Developed the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria, which assesses the extinction risk for species.

Raman Sukumar, Ph.D. (Centre for Ecological Science) Sukumar greatly contributes to the study and conservation of Asian elephants.  Since 1980, his research on elephants has been recognized internationally as the most comprehensive body of work on this species.

Jo Thompson, Ph.D. (Lukuru Wildlife Research Project) Thompson established a bonobo field study site outside the Parc National de la Salonga frontier, Democratic Republic of the Congo, further south than any wild bonobo populations were known to exist.

Ronald Lewis Tilson (Minnesota Zoo) Tigers – Tilson organized the first international gathering of tiger experts to discuss coordination between field researchers and the captive community.

Amanda Vincent, Ph.D. (University of British Columbia) Vincent was the first biologist to study seahorses in the wild, to detect a significant trade, to issue conservation warnings and to launch management programs.

Sally Raulston Walker (Zoo Outreach Organization) Walker's brainchild, Zoo Outreach Organisation (ZOO), is today one of the most dynamic scientific NGOs in South Asia.  Walker has been instrumental in spearheading zoo legislation to improve standards of Indian zoos.

Grahame John Warren Webb (IUCN) Crocodiles – Webb played a leading role in developing methods for catching and researching saltwater crocodiles – methods still used around the world.

Yang Xin (Greenriver Environmental Protection Association) – Qinghai-Tibet Plateau – Yangxin found this area was facing major eco issues… glacier shrinking, meadow degeneration and animal hunting. The research showed the problem to the public and got widespread attention and action.

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