Cathy Dean, Director of Save the Rhino, wins award for conservation leadership

Cathy Dean, Director of Save the Rhino International and a member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Species Survival Commission (IUCN SSC) African Rhino Specialist Group, is among the recipients of this year’s Harry Messel Award for Conservation Leadership.

Pictured above is Dr Mike Knight (Chair of the AfRSG) accepting the Harry Messel Award on behalf of Cathy, from Dr Simon Stuart – IUCN Species Survival Commission Chair.

Professor Harry Messel was the former long-standing Chair of the SSC Crocodile Specialist Group. The award, established in 2004 in his name, recognizes exemplary service to the SSC, especially from individuals who have made a specific contribution to species conservation on the ground or through their leadership, as part of the work of an SSC Specialist Group or Task Force.

Cathy’s award is “In recognition of her passionate and committed leadership of Save The Rhino International, greatly benefitting rhinoceros conservation in Africa and Asia, and her long-term support of the SSC African Rhino Specialist Group.”

Founded by Dave Stirling and Johnny Roberts in 1994, Save the Rhino has grown in reach and impact since Cathy became director in 2001. She has worked hard to develop collaborations with other conservation agencies to maximise the support that the charity is able to provide for African and Asian rhino conservation efforts and has seen income – and therefore the amount available from which to make grants – more than quadruple.

Cathy says:

Working for Save the Rhino brings me into contact with many truly admirable people: my team in London, who bring such a wide range of ideas, skills and enthusiasm for their work; the field managers whose conservation programmes we support; and the other members of the African Rhino Specialist Group, from whom I still have much to learn. It’s a great privilege to be at the heart of international efforts to save the five species of rhino for future generations.

Other recipients of this year’s Harry Messel Awards are: Ms Elham Abtin in recognition of her courageous leadership of crocodile conservation and scientific research in the Sistan and Baluchistan Provinces of Iran. Mr Quentin Luke in recognition of his exceptional leadership of plant conservation in East Africa. Dr Goutam Narayan in recognition of his pivotal role on leading the Pygmy Hog Conservation Programme in north-eastern India since 1995. Dr Mijoro Rakotoarinivo in recognition of his pioneering leadership on the conservation of palms in Madagascar. Dr William Robichaud in recognition of his extraordinary leadership in raising global attention for the conservation of the Saola through the SSC Saola Working Group. And the IUCN Global Fungal Red List Initiative, in particular to Anders Dahlberg and Greg Mueller, in recognition of their vision to develop and lead the innovative work on the red listing of fungi.

Congratulations also to the recipients of the IUCN prestigious Sir Peter Scott Award for Conservation Merit; Tom Milliken, Dr Holly Dublin, Widodo Ramono, Dr Mark Stanley Price, Dr Simon Stuart and His Excellency Mohammed Al Bowardi,

Read more about the awards on the IUCN website.

Find out more about Save the Rhino and the African Rhino Specialist Group.

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