NEW YORK, NY (April 6, 2012)—The Wildlife Conservation Society will honor the conservation work of Chilean scientist Dr. Juan Carlos Castilla at its upcoming Gala 2012: The Coasts of Patagonia on Thursday, June 14 at New York City’s WCS Central Park Zoo. Castilla will receive a Wildlife Conservation Award for his lifetime achievements in marine conservation, specifically in the Chilean sea.

The event will also recognize Dr. Steve Sanderson, WCS President & CEO, who is retiring from WCS after more than a decade of service to the organization, which is based in New York City with country and regional offices throughout Latin America.

A Professor of Marine Ecology at the Catholic University of Chile and supporter of WCS conservation efforts in Chile, Castilla is a renowned marine biologist working in Chilean conservation and has served as a charter member of the Advisory Council of Karukinka Natural Park. He is the first Latin American recipient of the Spanish Ramon Margalef prize and is the author of over 200 publications, many of which have changed marine policy and conservation practices in Chile and the coasts of Patagonia.

As a co-honoree for Gala 2012, Sanderson will retire from WCS later this year, concluding a career spanning 30 years of professional and personal commitment to wildlife conservation, poverty alleviation, and academia. Sanderson serves as a member on the Council of Karukinka, made up of local scientific and business sector representatives who provide recommendations on the conservation and development activities of Karukinka Natural Park. The park is the largest protected area on the main island of Tierra del Fuego and the focus of an upcoming WCS expedition, April 12-18. 

Read the Spanish version of the press release >>

Stephen Sautner: U.S.1-718-220 3682;
John Delaney: U.S. 1-718-220-3275;
Steve Fairchild: U.S. 1-718-220-5189;
Mary Dixon: U.S. 1-347-840-1242;
Barbara Saavedra: Chile 562-2222697;

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth. Visit

La Wildlife Conservation Society promueve la conservación de la vida silvestre y paisajes naturales alrededor del mundo. Esto lo logramos a través de la ciencia aplicada, educación en conservación a nivel global, y la gestión del sistema de parques urbanos de vida silvestre más grande del mundo, liderado por su parque principal, el Zoológico del Bronx. Juntas, estas actividades cambian actitudes hacia la naturaleza y ayudan a las personas a imaginar a los humanos y la vida silvestre viviendo en harmonía. WCS está comprometida con esta misión porque es esencial para la integridad de la vida en la Tierra. Visit