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Two freshwater conservationists win a prestigious Whitley Award for Conservation

May 11, 2012

At this week’s 2012 Whitley Awards Ceremony two freshwater conservationists were among the eight winners. The Whitley Fund for Nature locates and recognizes the world’s most dynamic conservation leaders and support projects founded on good science, community involvement and pragmatism.

Ir Bundioni was honored for his efforts to conserve Indonesia’s last population of freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins in the Mahakam River system. In 2000 Budi, founded the NGO Yayasan Konservasi RASI (YK-RASI) to protect endangered aquatic species and their habitats in Indonesia. They are working to established community-supported protected areas for the dolphins and their prey and deploying the dolphin as a flagship species to promote the adoption of less harmful fishing practices and the development of ecotourism and other alternative livelihoods.

Carlos Vasquez Almazan, Curator of Herpetology at Guatamla’s National Museum of Natural History and Coordinator of the Amphibian Conservation Programme of Foundation for Eco-development and Conservation (FUNDAECO), was honored efforts to rally support for protection of the Sierra Caral cloud forest on the border of Guatemala and Honduras. Carlos has led amphibian surveys across Guatemala discovering new species and re-discovering others thought to be extinct. In so doing he has raised interest in the country’s diverse amphibian fauna. As a result, Guatemala’s first reserve for amphibian conservation, encompassing 2,300 hectares, and protecting five critically endangered species was declared in 2011.

The BioFresh Blog salutes the great work of Budi and Carlos and we wish them and their teams every success in the future.

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