Dr. Patricia Wright, one of the world’s top experts on lemurs and their conservation, has won the 2014 Indianapolis Prize. The first woman awarded the prestigious honor, Dr. Wright was recognized for her work to conserve lemurs in Madagascar. Considered the world’s highest prize for animal conservation, it is an especially fitting recognition of Dr. Wright’s work to protect the most threatened mammal group on Earth.
SavingSpecies founder and president, Dr. Stuart Pimm said: “The Indianapolis Prize is a very high honor, indeed, and well given this year. Pat Wright is a conservation champion, who has helped improve the survival prospects for lemurs and their habitat in Madagascar, as well as the lives of countless Malagasy people. Her tireless dedication to lemur and forest conservation and restoration in Madagascar is incomparable.”
In addition to her other work, Dr. Wright serves on SavingSpecies’ Science Advisory Board, where she assesses and helps develop restoration projects for endangered species and their habitats. Indeed, Dr. Wright and SavingSpecies have worked together and used carbon offsets and other donations to support lemur conservation efforts in Madagascar like those recognized by this award.
Dr. Wright intends to use the prize money to support forest conservation near Ranomafana, home to an especially rare lemur species. She will also use it to provide electricity to rural villages, helping to demonstrate the compatibility between conservation and human needs.