INDIANAPOLIS, Oct. 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The team behind the Indianapolis Prize, the world's leading award for animal conservation, has unveiled a unique guide to animal conservation giving for the 2016 holiday season. Champions for Our Planet: The Indianapolis Prize Guide to Animal Conservation Giving spotlights 19 organizations backed by the conservation heroes of the Indianapolis Prize and serves as an expert roadmap for giving meaningful gifts that protect, preserve and sustain endangered species and ecosystems.
In selecting one of the conservation charities highlighted in Champions for Our Planet, donors directly contribute to efforts to protect species including polar bears, African elephants, lemurs, jaguars, penguins, whooping cranes, muskox, snow leopards, lions, wolves, Mauritius kestrels, tigers, cheetahs, ocean animals, reptiles and more.
"At a time in which nearly one in four species is at risk of disappearing forever, this guide makes it easy for anyone who is passionate about conservation to give a gift that has lasting impact," said Michael Crowther, president and CEO of the Indianapolis Zoological Society, Inc., which administers the Indianapolis Prize. "People have asked us to help them understand how their giving can make the biggest difference in the fight for wildlife and wild places. Champions for Our Planet does just that by clearing a path to support work that is changing the fates of species all over the world."
An overwhelming majority of Americans — some 90 percent — support the protection of threatened wildlife, according to a recent poll conducted by Tulchin Research to measure public opinion around the Endangered Species Act. But many animal advocates don't know where to start, or how to give. The guide leverages the Indianapolis Prize's global reputation as a clearinghouse for credible conservation solutions used all over the world.
"For more than a decade, the Indianapolis Prize has brought the world's attention to the work of men and women who have made extraordinary contributions to the sustainability of wildlife," said Jane Alexander, actress and honorary chair of the Indianapolis Prize. "The Champions for Our Planet guide builds upon that legacy by providing an actionable way for people to take part in saving species from extinction."
The organizations represented in the guide include some of the most respected names in animal conservation, including Polar Bears International, Save the Elephants, American Friends of Durrell, Centre ValBio at Stony Brook University, International Crane Foundation and many more.
"The Finalists and Winners of the Indianapolis Prize — [that make up] the Champions for Our Planet [Guide] — have proved they are worthy and able guardians of the forests, plains, waters, deserts, ice fields and skies," said Gilbert M. Grosvenor, former editor of National Geographic and president of the National Geographic Society. "The innovative concept of directly funding their work in the field through this Guide is something I endorse with enthusiasm."
The guide provides background information on each Indianapolis Prize hero's work, the animal(s) they protect and the steps gift-givers can take to directly support their organizations. Each organization provides donor acknowledgements to notify family and friends about gifts given in their names.
The guide was announced at the Indianapolis Prize Gala presented by Cummins Inc. on Saturday, Oct. 15 in Indianapolis, Ind. All organizations and programs featured in the guide have been vetted by an independent commission of nonprofit and legal experts to ensure the highest standards of governance, management and accountability.
About the Indianapolis Prize
The Indianapolis Prize recognizes and rewards conservationists who have achieved major victories in advancing the sustainability of an animal species or group of species. Winners receive the Lilly Medal and an unrestricted $250,000 award. Remaining Finalists each receive $10,000. The Indianapolis Prize has received support from the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation since its inception.
A History of Indianapolis Prize Winners
The Indianapolis Prize was first awarded in 2006 to George Archibald, Ph.D., the co-founder of the International Crane Foundation. The 2008 Winner was George Schaller, Ph.D., known as one of the founding fathers of modern wildlife conservation, and both a senior conservationist for the Wildlife Conservation Society and vice president for Panthera. In 2010, Iain Douglas-Hamilton, Ph.D., founder of Save the Elephants, received the Prize for his pioneering research in elephant social behavior and for leading the way in the fight against the poaching of African elephants. Steven Amstrup, Ph.D., chief scientist for Polar Bears International, received the 2012 Prize for his work promoting the cause of the world's largest land carnivore. In 2014, Patricia C. Wright, Ph.D., founder of Centre ValBio, became the first woman awarded the Indianapolis Prize for her dedication to protecting Madagascar's lemurs.
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SOURCE Indianapolis Prize