Tuesday 26 September 2006
Scientific Advisor of Wildlife First and Director of Wildlife Conservation Society’s India Program K. Ullas Karanth has been awarded the Sierra Club’s prestigious International Earthcare Award 2006 for his "unique and outstanding contribution to environmental protection and conservation." Previous recipients of the Award, established in 1975, include Andres Perez, President of Venezuala and Gro Harlem Brundtland Prime Minister of Norway. Dr Karanth has worked relentlessly to infuse his path-breaking scientific findings on tigers into policy in order to secure a future for tigers and their prey. He has campaigned for a shift in policy from the flawed total count method of tiger censuses to statistically validated sampling-based techniques for estimating tigers and their prey.
He has had to face, a press release from Wildlife First said, the ire of the establishment which has constantly attempted to scuttle his academic freedom by "denying rightful permissions to carry out scientific research. This has not blunted his urge to continue his scientific work for over two decades which has contributed to major conservation successes that include development of scientific protocols, based on long-term research, to estimate tigers and its prey which have resulted in over 50 publications in peer reviewed scientific journals; The formation of the Kudremukh National Park to protect the highly endangered Lion-tailed macaques; Reducing habitat fragmentation in the Bhadra Tiger Reserve through the voluntary resettlement of 16 villages ; Developing win-win solutions to resolve human-wildlife conflicts in a socially just manner in Nagarahole National Park
Dr Ullas Karanth is also a Scientific Fellow of the Zoological Society of London and a Trustee of Centre for Wildlife Studies. He has served on the Indian Board for Wildlife and the Steering Committee of Project Tiger, Government of India.