Conservation News



2016 Indianapolis Prize Nomination Process Now Open


The 2016 Indianapolis prize nomination process opens today. We are looking for the most successful animal conservationist in the world. Just go to to nominate. Here's a link: 2014 Indianapolis Prize winner, Dr. Patricia C. Wright is back working to save lemurs in Madagascar just a couple of weeks after her media tour which included the NYSE Euronext closing of the bell with our partners Eli Lilly and Company. Dr. Wright is also a professor at Stony Brook University and created Centre ValBio. [close]

New Protection for White Rhinos


New protection for Rhinos. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Serviceexplains the rule to list white rhinos as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. Read more about the rule and how it's aimed at stopping rhino horn trafficking. Deltails here: 2014 Indianapolis Prize finalist Joel Berger spent years working on rhino conservation. Learn about Joel and all the Prize honorees here:​ [close]

Fewer Polar Bear Cubs Born in Arctic


New this morning, study shows global warming is effecting the number of polar bear cubs being born in the Arctic. The Guardian explains the concerning survey here: 2012 Indianapolis Prize winner Dr. Steven Amstrup was a pioneer in proving global warming was affecting polar bears. His work led to polar bears being listed as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Read about Amstrup and all the animal conservation heroes here: [close]

Orangutan Conservation Success


Orangutans are facing a critical situation. They only live in two places in the wild, Borneo and Sumatra. Their habitat continues to decrease quickly and these great apes are at an extreme risk of extinction. There is hope! One success story comes from the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP). Learn more here: The Indianapolis Prize honors the brave men and women on the front lines of animal conservation. 2014 Prize nominee Birute Mary Galdikas has spent the last 35 years rehabilitating orangutans and saving millions of acres of tropical rain forest in Borneo. Read about Galdikas and all the prize honorees here​.​ [close]

Protecting Bog Turtles


Endangered Species Success Story! See what the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is reporting about a partnership in Pennsylvania and how it is helping endangered bog turtles. Learn more by clicking on this link: 2014 Indianapolis Prize finalist Russ Mittermeier has led the charge in protecting many species including turtles. Read about Russ and all the Prize heroes at​ [close]

​​Dr. Patricia Wright Named 2014 Indianapolis Prize Winner


For heroic and selfless dedication to protecting the lemurs, ecosystems and people of Madagascar, Dr. Patricia Chappelle Wright was named as winner of the 2014 Indianapolis Prize. As the winner, Wright, a distinguished professor of anthropology at Stony Brook University, will receive $250,000 and the Lilly Medal, joining the ranks of some of the most celebrated conservationists on Earth. See press release for all the details.​ [close]

Elephant Summit Planned for Tanzania


Elephant Summit planned in Tanzania. The U.S. government has joined in to help with this summit to bring attention to poaching and the need for elephant conservation. Learn more from eTurboNews here: 2010 Indianapolis Prize winner Iain Douglas-Hamilton has dedicated his life's work to saving elephants. Read more about him and all the Prize honorees at or click here: [close]

Restoration Plan in Sumatra


Encouraging news about restoration of land in Sumatra. Deforestation in Sumatra is taking away essential habitat for endangered orangutans. Learn more about this plan from WWF Many Indianapolis Prize honorees work to protect habitat for endangered animals. Read more about all the nominees, finalists and winners of the Indianapolis Prize: ​​[close]

​​​​Whale Project Modifi​​​ed


Japan will modify scientific whaling program after 2015 after halting the studies due to an International court order. Learn more here from Planet Ark Environmental Foundation. 2014 Indianapolis Prize finalist Carl Safinais dedicated to protecting ocean life. Read about Carl and all the Prize honorees here: [close]

​Positive Update on Palm Oil


It's a great start! A small palm oil production group became the first to achieve Rain Forest Alliance certification. Read more from here: ​Palm oil is used in many of the products we buy at the grocery. To understand more about sustainable palm oil, read the Indianapolis Prize blog at [close]

Cargill Promises No Deforestation

Agribusiness giant, Cargill, promises zero deforestation on the heels of a report on the palm oil it sold to Procter and Gamble. Cargill sent a letter to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) outlining its commitment. Learn more Unsustainable palm oil plantations are taking critical habitat away from animals like orangutans. Read more about palm oil and RSPO on the Indianapolis prize blog here: [close]

Oil Spill Effects


More than a dozen species are still struggling to survive four years after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Read a new report fromNational Geographic at 2014 Indianapolis Prize nominee Joel Sartore, Photographer for National Geographic Magazine has a mission to give vanishing species and habitats a voice before they are gone forever. Read about Joel and all the Indianapolis Prize honorees here [close]​

Panda Survival


A new study shows horses have an impact on panda survival. The Michigan State Spartans study on the Wolong Reserve in China found hundreds of horses are left to graze on bamboo in the forest. Since the study, China has banned horses from the reserve to protect the bamboo for pandas. Learn more here: [close]

Sea Turtles Win!


A 15 year battle by conservationists ends with a law protecting beaches along Puerto Rico which serve as a nesting ground for endangered leatherback turtles. Read the National Geographic Magazine story: [close]

Tiger Success Story


India's tiger population has doubled over the past three years and now, the country is turning 800 acres of grassland into a safe tiger reserve. Learn more about this success story from Conservation India: [close]

Help for Rare Gorilla


$10 Million earmarked for project to save the world's rarest gorilla. It's estimated only hundreds are left of the Cross River gorilla in Africa. Read more from The Guardian: [close]

Habitat Help


A new guide is out today to help countries around the world restore land--which is essential since it is estimated there are over two billion hectares of deforested or degraded lands around the world. The IUCN now has a guide to map out what degraded land has the most potential for conservation opportunities. Learn more here:[close]

Protecting Bison


Yellowstone Bison Win in Court! Read why the bison can now move outside the park's boundaries without being shot. According to Environmental News Network (ENN), in 2008 one-third of the Yellowstone bison population was captured and killed after roaming out of the park. Read more: [close]

Preventing Rhino Poaching


24 million dollar pledge made to protect rhino poaching. Howard Buffett, son of Warren Buffett promised the money to pay for rangers, security and sniffer dogs in South Africa. Read in The Guardian to learn more: [close]

Bristol Bay Protection


The EPA is committed to protecting Bristol Bay, Alaska which is home to the world's largest sockeye salmon fishery. Read WWFto understand the plan and why it's an issue: [close]

Seeing Triple


Tiger triplets were born at the ZSL London Zoo. This is significant for global breeding of a species where it is estimated only hundreds are left in the wild. Learn about what the tigers face in the wild from The Guardian: [close]

Historic Conservation Agreement


The United States and four other countries commit to a historic agreement to protect the iconic Sargasso Sea. Learn why this is so essential from IUCN: [close]

Elephants Know Voices


A new study shows elephants can distinguish between human voices and languages helping them judge the safety of a situation. Learn about their reactions to certain voices from NBC News: [close]

Endangered Jaguars


The United States created a protected habitat designated for endangered jaguars in southern Arizona and New Mexico. Read Environment News Service to understand the significance for jaguars: [close]

World Wildlife Day


It's World Wildlife Day! Celebrate with the United Nations as the world joins together in global observance of wildlife and their connections to life and sustainability. Read more from World Wildlife Day: [close]

Indianapolis Prize Finalists Highlighted


Thanks Newsday New York for highlighting three of the world's most successful conservationists. They are all finalists for the Indianapolis Prize and have a unique connection to Stony Brook University. Read more here: [close]

Fossil Find


Scientists are studying a 5 million year old fossil site. Read BBC News about the "whale" of a find and what they are discovering and learning about the past in connection with marine mammal life: [close]

Endangered Condor Risk


Critically endangered condors face a new health issue. Many reintroduced condors in California are now found to have lead poisoning. Read The Earth Times to understand how this is happening and what's being done about it: [close]

Elephant Empathy


New study shows amazing empathy between elephants. Read in Environmental News Network how elephants comfort another elephant in distress. Researchers hope this will help some people in Asia empathize with the elephant plight. More here: [close]

Saving Lemurs


Lemur experts talk about extinction threats for these primitive primates in Madagascar. Read the story from NBC News: [close]

Taking a Stand on Palm Oil


Kellogg's Pop-Tarts takes a stand on palm oil. Palm oil is found in many of the items we buy at the grocery. Illegal palm oil farms are eliminating necessary rain forests for orangutans in Borneo and Sumatra. Read The Guardian on how Kellogg's is making sure only sustainable palm oil shows up in the food they sell: [close]

Leaping Lemurs!


We're so excited for the premiere of "Islands of Lemurs: Madagascar," starring 2014 Indianapolis Prize finalist Patricia Wright! Check out the film's trailer here​ and be sure to explore the rainforests of Madagascar with Pat on April 4. [cl​​ose] 

Protecting Marine Areas


A six year study shows the specific steps needed to protect marine areas. Many of the "protected" marine park locations are not hitting all the criteria. Read more from The Guardian: [close]

Endangered Sharks


Wildlife organization in Hong Kong is making a difference by locating a slaughterhouse for internationally protected and endangered whale sharks -- also known as gentle giants. Read more from Environmental News Network: 2014 Indianapolis Prize finalist Carl Safina spends his days protecting the creatures in oceans. Read about Carl and all the other Prize nominees, finalists and winners at or click on this link:​. [close]

Butterfly Risk


Scientists fear Monarch butterflies in the U.S. and Canada could face a serious risk of disappearing. It all has to do with their wintering grounds in Mexico losing milkweed, their main form of nutrition. Read more from NBC News: Indianapolis Prize nominees Jana Johnson and Jaret Daniels both spend their days protecting butterflies. Read about Johnson and Daniels and all the Indianapolis Prize nominees, finalists and winners at or click on this link: [close]

New Tough Anti-Poaching Laws


Tough new anti-poaching laws in Kenya prove effective. An ivory smuggler faces a record fine or seven years in jail. Read more from BBC Africa 2010 Indianapolis Prize winner Iain Douglas-Hamilton is known for his relentless actions in protecting and preserving the African elephant. Read about Douglas-Hamilton and all the Prize nominees, finalists and winners at or click on this link: [close]

Critically Endangered


Sumatran elephant now listed as critically endangered by the IUCN. With two-thirds of their habitat gone from deforestation, the Sumatran elephant has lost half its population in one generation. Read more from The Guardian​. 2010 Indianapolis Prize winner Iain Douglas-Hamilton is the leader of Save the Elephants and has spent his career fighting to save these amazing creatures. Read about all the Indianapolis Prize nominees, finalists and winners at or click on this link:​[close]

Habitat Recovery


Successful habitat recovery to report! After disappearing along the Australian coast in the 1970's and 80's, nutrient and shelter providing seaweed is just making a comeback. Recent recovery efforts are paying off with new growth. Environmental News Network explains how it was done:

2014 Indianapolis Prize nominee Carl Safina is a champion for ocean life helping create dozens of recoveries of fish populations in decline. You can read about Carl and all the Prize nominees, finalists and winners by going to or click on this link: [close]

Deadly Virus


Deadly virus spreads to tigers in India. A common virus dogs are vaccinated against is striking big cats. Canine distemper has killed several tigers and two cubs have tested positive. Other animals are getting the virus too. Read more on The Huffington Post about what India is trying to do to stop the problem:​.

2008 Indianapolis Prize finalist K. Ullas Karanth is the premiere tiger expert and senior conservation scientist at the Wildlife Conservation Society India division. You can read more about Karanth's work and all the prize nominees, finalists and winners at [close]

Saving Rhinos


Charity organization says the only way to save the estimated remaining 850 white and black rhinos in Kenya is to herd them into sanctuaries with fences. The Guardian explains why Rhino Ark Charitable Trust says this may not only save the rhinos, but also help the people there. Read more:

2006 Indianapolis Prize nominee Ian Craig has spent much of his career saving Kenyan wildlife. You can read about Ian Craig and all the Indianapolis Prize nominees at [close]

China’s Ivory Crush


In a first of its kind event in China, the government crushed 6 tons of confiscated ivory yesterday. It's an effort to clamp down on illegal elephant poaching for valuable ivory tusks. Details here:​

Read more about conservation efforts for elephants -- Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton won the 2010 Indianapolis Prize for his research in elephant behavior and has fought against African elephant poaching. See more: [close]

Elephant Deaths


Stunning update on elephant deaths in Tanzania. According to The Guardian, elephant deaths rose from 2 killed in October to more than 60 in November and December combined. These deaths come right after the government made changes in how they deal with poachers after reports that innocent people were being mistreated. Read more:

You can also find out more about conservation efforts for elephants -- in 2010, the Indianapolis Prize was awarded to Iain Douglas-Hamilton, Ph.D., founder of Save the Elephants, who pioneered research in elephant social behavior and has led the way in fighting poaching of African elephants. See more: [close]

Turtle Time!


Time to see one easy thing you can do to help these endangered creatures -- find out here: After millions of years on this earth, several species of turtles are facing possible extinction. 2014 Indianapolis Prize nominee Russell Mittermeier helped create and foster numerous turtle conservation organizations. Read about all the conservation heroes at: [close]

New Species Update


Ninety-one new species discovered by California Academy of Sciences in 2013. It took a big team of people to find these animal and plant species. You can read about what was discovered at The California Academy of Sciences is a leading research and education institution and even hosted 2012 Indianapolis Prize winner Dr. Steven Amstrup to speak at a forum about his lifelong work saving polar bears from extinction. [close]

Update on Bald Eagles Dying in Utah


Continued concern over bald eagles dying in Utah. According to NBC the number of dead bald eagles is up to 20 and it's now thought to be possibly caused by disease rather than a toxin. Read what wildlife officials are saying about the bird that is our national symbol: [close]

Manatee Deaths Raise Concern


Manatee deaths in Florida waters hit a record in 2013, more than doubling the deaths in 2012. NBC News Science reports the culprit was a toxic algae. To learn more:

Managing life in the oceans is daunting. 2014 Indianapolis Prize nominee Carl Safina is a champion for the living world under water and has led the charge on dozens of recoveries of fish in decades-long declines. You can read about all the Indianapolis Prize nominees as well as Carl Safina at: [close]

Popular Wood Could Lead to Deforestation


Thirst for rosewood (the bois de rose tree) could affect wild animals in Madagascar. Illegal logging and smuggling of the popular wood has many fearing for the forests in Madagascar. The Guardian explains why years of military rule and poverty are part of the problem with the explosion of rosewood smuggling. Read more:

The forests of Madagascar are full of many animals including several species of Lemur. 2014 Indianapolis Prize nominee Patricia Wright has worked tirelessly with the people and government of Madagascar to protect the forests and lemurs. Wright was able to stop timber exploiters planning to log the rain forest habitat. Read more about her work and all the other Indianapolis Prize conservationists at: [close]

Annual Bird Count Underway


An estimate 70,000 volunteers are counting bird species at Christmas! It's The National Audubon Society 114th annual census of all that is feathered and flying. Read about this amazing annual quest at 23-hundred locations in the Western Hemisphere: A fighter for bird species, 2014 Indianapolis Prize nominee Carl Jones has been involved with the recovery of five bird species from populations of fewer than 10 specimens. Jones has also saved a dozen animal species from extinction and worked to reduce habitat threats. One of the many heroes you can read about on the Indianapolis Prize website: [close]

Virus Killing Dolphins


A resurgence of a deadly virus is killing bottlenose dolphins at an alarming rate along the Eastern seaboard. According to The New York Times, marine scientists are concerned about morbillivirus. More than 1,000 dead dolphins have washed ashore in New Jersey, Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas. This happened 25 years ago and many dolphins died. Read more: [close]

Elephant Count a True Feat


A herculean mission in Africa. The largest effort known to count elephants through an aerial view over more than 22 countries. Read LiveScience to understand how scientists will attempt this amazing feat. A true count of the elephant population is not known, but scientists estimate tens of thousands of elephants are killed each year. [close]

Species Success Story


A species considered extinct was rediscovered and successfully reintroduced. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the black-footed ferret is North America's rarest mammal. Since the species was rediscovered in Wyoming, six ferret reintroductions have taken place in South Dakota. The US Fish and Wildlife says it worked with Native American tribes, the U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service. ​Way to go! Read more on this amazing success story and see just how many of these animals live on tribal land right now.​ [close]