Conservation Awards

Chair

Members

  • J. A. Esselstyn
  • K. Everson
  • J. R. Goheen
  • K. M. Helgen
  • T. Jung
  • N. Ordoñez-Garza
  • M. Tewes
  • S. Wisely

History and Mission

In 2002, the American Society of Mammalogists established 2 new conservation awards to recognize outstanding contributions to the conservation of mammals and their habitats.

Aldo Leopold Award

The first award, the Aldo Leopold Award, is awarded to a well-established individual who has made a lasting contribution to the conservation of mammals and their habitats. We are proud to honor the memory of former ASM member Aldo Leopold with the senior award. Not only did Aldo Leopold have a significant and lasting influence in wildlife conservation and management, but he also had a great interest in mammals. He was an active member of ASM and a member of the Conservation of Land Mammals Committee (4 years) in the 1930s and during this time worked to defend wolves in Wisconsin and the Great Lakes states and grizzly bears in New Mexico. Leopold is well known for his famous land ethic philosophy, and is considered to be the “father” of wildlife ecology and management. His son, A. Starker Leopold, served as Chair of the Conservation of Land Mammals Committee in the 1950s. Students of both generations of Leopolds have had a profound impact on the field of mammalogy. In 2003, the inaugural Aldo Leopold Award recipient was E. O. Wilson of Harvard University for his valuable contributions to mammalian conservation through his development and promotion of the concepts of biodiversity.

William T. Hornaday Award

The second award, the William T. Hornaday Award, is awarded to a current undergraduate or graduate student who has made a significant contribution as a student to the conservation of mammals and their habitats. This award was not given in 2003. Nominations were considered for the first time in 2004. Hornaday was a pioneer in wildlife conservation and the “architect” of 2 of the most renowned zoological parks in the United States, the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. and the New York Zoological Park in Bronx, New York. Hornaday was responsible for a number of early wildlife protection laws in the US, was instrumental in saving the northern fur seal from extinction, and authored 15 books and numerous articles about wildlife and the need for conservation. The fate of the American bison seemed to stir Hornaday most deeply, perhaps because he had himself witnessed the systematic slaughter of this species in the west. His 1889 book entitled “The extermination of the American bison” established him as a prominent defender of these animals, and in the early 1900s, he founded the National Bison Society and promoted the establishment of the Wichita, Kansas and Montana Bison Ranges.

2017 Aldo Leopold Award Recipient

The Aldo Leopold Award is awarded to a well-established individual who has made a lasting contribution to the conservation of mammals and their habitats. Aldo Leopold, the “father” of wildlife ecology and management, is well known for his famous land ethic philosophy and his influence on wildlife conservation, including his active membership on ASM Conservation Committees in the 1930s.

The 2017 Aldo Leopold Award winner is Dr. Gerardo Ceballos. Dr. Ceballos has been actively working on the diversity, ecology and conservation of mammals in Mexico and the entire world for at least 30 years. He is a pioneer in many fields in mammal ecology and conservation in Mexico Not only has he led the first ever long-term community and population biology studies of Mexican mammals in the early 1980’s, but he has also pioneered reintroduction of endangered species such as the black-footed ferret and eradication of exotic species from islands of the Gulf of California. He has published well over 200 peer-reviewed papers in the primary literature and over 30 very influential books, including some of the most significant papers on mammal ecology, biodiversity, biogeography and conservation, published in Science in the past couple of years. He has also published a truly daunting volume, the Mammals of Mexico, a major landmark in the discipline given the huge task at hand (Mexico is country # 3 in terms of numbers of mammal species in the world), and the extraordinary difficulty of attempting to compile this humongous, extremely useful volume for anyone working on mammals in Mexico and its neighboring countries.

 His influence has flourished and mushroomed, with dozens of his students occupying key positions in many universities, local, state, and federal government agencies, and virtually every NGO active in Mexico. All those that recommended him commented particularly on his extraordinary ability to “operationalize his science” and achieve meaningful conservation outcomes on the ground. Many of the most important protected areas in Mexico, from the Chamela-Cuixmala reserve (the only one with a significant extension of the endemic-rich Mexican tropical dry forest) to the San Ignacio lagoon in Baja California to the last remaining extensive grasslands of North America in Chihuahua, owe their existence in great part to his efforts.

2017 William T. Hornaday Award

The American Society of Mammalogists Conservation Awards Committee selected Roberto Salom-Pérez for the 2017 William T. Hornaday Award. Roberto Salom-Pérez is a Costa Rican biologist who has over 11 years of experience working on mammal research and conservation, with an emphasis on jaguars. His Master´s thesis work, completed in 2003, included the first jaguar and ocelot density estimates in Costa Rica using camera traps. After his MSC, Roberto went on to work with Wildlife Conservation Society and then the worldwide wildcat conservation organization Panthera, as Costa Rican Director and Mesoamerica Coordinator. Currently, Roberto is working on his PhD in a Joint Doctoral Program between University of Idaho and CATIE University in Costa Rica.

Those who wrote letters in support of Roberto’s nomination spoke highly of his work ethic and dedication to working with others to implement policy. Roberto’s work helped build a strong basis for the Jaguar Corridor Initiative and was fundamental for the signing in 2012 of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica and Panthera for the conservation of jaguars. He later collaborated on developing similar agreements with the governments of Panama and Nicaragua.


Streaming Presentations 

ASM Members can log into the Business Office site and stream presentations from past winners!

The Aldo Leopold Award is awarded to a well-established individual who has made a lasting contribution to the conservation of mammals and their habitats.

The William T. Hornaday Award is awarded to a current undergraduate or graduate student who has made a significant contribution as a student to the conservation of mammals and their habitats.

The recipient of each award will have contributed substantially to (1) the conservation of 1 or more mammalian species, subspecies, or populations, (2) the conservation of mammalian assemblages and communities, and/or (3) advancing the field of conservation biology through focal research on mammals. We interpret “contribution” broadly to include (1) scientific research or political activism that has resulted in the preservation of an imperiled species; (2) development of protective management recommendations; (3) acquisition of new knowledge regarding the conservation status or causes for decline of mammalian species or populations; (4) the protection of significant mammalian habitat; or (5) promotion of the conservation of mammals through public education.

All persons are invited to submit nominations for these awards. For each award, the nomination packet should include:
  1. A brief (2 pages maximum) narrative that introduces and describes the conservation activities of the nominee;
  2. A list of relevant journal articles, government and NGO reports, newspaper clippings, and other materials that chronicle and corroborate the conservation-related activities of the nominee;
  3. Contact information for the nominator and nominee;
  4. Supporting material as follows:

Aldo Leopold Award -- A complete nomination packet (nominating letter, curriculum vita, 3 pieces of corroborative literature that most succinctly and directly describe the nominee’s contributions to mammalian conservation, and up to 4 additional letters of support) should be submitted (as a single PDF file) to Erin Baerwald (efbaerwald@gmail.com) by 1 March.

William T. Hornaday Award -- Letters of recommendation from 2 individuals familiar with the nominee’s conservation activities. One of these letters must be from the student’s research advisor and confirms that the nominees status as a student. Completed nomination packets (as a single PDF file) should be sent to Erin Baerwald (efbaerwald@gmail.com). Deadline for submission of completed nominations is 1 March. The recipient will be announced at the annual meeting of the Society.  Nominations are not retained from previous years.  Please send any questions about the award or the nomination to Erin Baerwald (efbaerwald@gmail.com).

ALDO LEOPOLD CONSERVATION AWARD

for outstanding contributions to the conservation of mammals and mammalian biodiversity

  • 2003—Edward O. Wilson, Harvard University
  • 2004—Russell A. Mittermeier, Conservation International, Washington, DC
  • 2005—George B. Schaller, Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx, NY
  • 2007—Rodrigo A. Medellín, Instituto de Ecología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México,Coyoacán, Ciudad de México, México
  • 2008—Virgilio G. Roig, Jardín Zoológico de Mendoza, Mendoza, Argentina
  • 2009—Helene Marsh, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia
  • 2010—Herbert Prins, Chair of Resource Ecology, Wageningen University, The Netherlands
  • 2011—Rubén Bárquez, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET of Argentina)
  • 2012—Dean Biggins, US Geological Service, Fort Collins, CO
  • 2013—Joel Berger, University of Montana
  • 2014—Lawrence R. HeaneyField Museum of Natural History, Chicago, IL
  • 2015—Andrew T. SmithArizona State University, Tempe AZ
  • 2016—Marco Festa-Bianchet, Université de Sherbrooke, Québec
  • 2017—Gerardo Ceballos, Instituto de Ecología, UNAM

WILLIAM T. HORNADAY CONSERVATION AWARD

presented to a student/young professional who has made a significant contribution as a student to the conservation of mammals and their habitats.

  • 2004—Brent Sewall, University of California-Davis
  • 2005—Isabel Beasley, James Cook University, Queensland, Austrailia
  • 2008—Angelia S. M. Vanderlaan, Oceanography Department, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • 2009—Gerrit Jan Schipper III, Director of IUCN-SSC/CI-CABS Global Mammal Assessment
  • 2011—Enzo Aliaga-Rosel (University of Hawai`i at Manoa)
  • 2013—Abdullahi Hussein Ali, Univeristy of Wyoming (Ph.D. student)
  • 2014—Erin BaerwaldUniversity of Calgary (Ph.D. student)
  • 2015—José F. González-MayaInstituto de Ecología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (Ph.D. student)
  • 2016—Héctor Ramirez-Chaves, University of Queensland, Australia (Ph.D. student)
  • 2017—Roberto Salom-Pérez, University of Idaho & Centro Agronómico Tropical de Investigación y Enseñanza (CATIE), Costa Rica (Ph.D. student)