NEW YORK (May 13, 2011) – The
Wildlife Conservation Society is pleased to announce that WCS shark
conservationist, Rachel Graham, is this year’s winner of one of the
world’s most prestigious prizes for grassroots nature conservation: the
Whitley Gold Award.
Graham, Director of the Wildlife
Conservation Society’s Gulf and Caribbean Sharks and Rays Program and a
member of the IUCN Shark Specialist Group, received her prize from HRH
The Princess Royal (Princess Anne) at the Royal Geographical Society,
London, during a ceremony hosted by The Whitley Fund for Nature (WFN) –
the UK-based charity behind the international award.
To accompany the title and her Whitley
Gold Award 2011 trophy, Graham wins project funding along with
membership in the influential network of past Whitley Award winners, and
professional development training.
“Belize’s marine life has a tireless
champion in Rachel Graham” said Steven Sanderson, WCS President and CEO.
“Her 20 years of conservation work is turning the tide for sharks and
drawing needed attention to protect these magnificent marine predators.”
John Robinson, WCS Executive Vice
President for Conservation and Science, said, “Rachel is a huge asset to
WCS’s conservation efforts to protect marine ecosystems around the
world. Her work benefits one of the most pristine marine regions in the
The award recognizes Graham’s work to put
in place a national action plan for sharks and to encourage more local
people to protect ocean wildlife and coastal biodiversity, safeguarding
livelihoods and Belize’s economically-important tourism industry.
Further, it recognizes Graham’s efforts to
reverse the rapid decline of sharks in Belizean waters, caused mainly
by over-fishing by foreign fishing fleets supplying white fish meat to
Latin America and shark fins to Asia.
The Whitley Awards is an annual
competition first held in 1994. In the 18 years since the awards began,
they have given grants worth more than £6m (approximately $9.7 million)
to support the work of inspirational conservation leaders in 70
countries and built a network of more than 120 Whitley alumni.
Contact:Stephen Sautner: (1-718-220-3682; firstname.lastname@example.org)John Delaney: (1-718-220-3275; email@example.com)
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 toward 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.
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