WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, February 15, 2023 — American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization and the world’s largest certifier of animal welfare, is thrilled to open nominations for the 2023 Wolfgang Kiessling International Prize for Species Conservation. Established in 2022, this award acknowledges those who achieve signiﬁcant positive change in the ﬁeld of conservation practice, theory and research. The annual award was created in honor of Wolfgang F. Kiessling, the founder of Loro Parque and globally acknowledged leader in the ﬁeld of conservation.
“There is incredible work being done right now to protect and preserve our world’s diverse animal life. I’m honored to be a part of this effort to recognize and support the world’s leading animal conservationists who are undertaking critical missions to preserve species before they are lost forever,” said Wolfgang Kiessling, president and founder of Loro Parque and Loro Parque Foundation.
In 1972, Loro Parque was created by Kiessling as a paradise for parrots and was home to only 150 parrots. The park, located on the island of Tenerife in Spain’s Canary Islands, now Loro Parque, is home to over 40,000 animals of 500 species and has the largest genetic reserve of parrots in the world, demonstrating its outstanding success in boosting the parrot population. Loro Parque is also home to flamingos, orcas, penguins, and gorillas, as well as many species of reptiles, mammals, and marine life. The zoo’s impressive conservation efforts have saved 12 species of parrots from extinction.
As billions of human beings exhaust the world’s resources, Loro Parque plays a critical role in education, science and conservation. In 2017, Loro Parque became the first zoo in Europe to receive American Humane Certification, reinforcing its recognition as a global leader in animal welfare.
“We are thrilled to launch the search for the recipient of the 2nd Annual Wolfgang Kiessling International Prize for Species Conservation,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane. “The incredible scientists who vie for this prestigious recognition are not only top of their field but also are, literally, on the front lines in the battle for species survival. We look forward to recognizing their efforts on the global stage and to showcasing their work for the world to see.”
The Wolfgang Kiessling International Prize committee is led by Wolfgang Kiessling, Christoph Kiessling, Cybell Kiessling, Dr. Javier Almunia, Dr. Robin Ganzert and Brad Andrews. The committee will screen and vote for applicants, ultimately choosing one who will be awarded the Kiessling Prize and a grant of US $80,000 to help further their work to make signiﬁcant contributions to the practical application, research and theory of species protection.
During a ceremony on June 24, 2022, the inaugural Wolfgang Kiessling International Prize for Species Conservation was presented to Dr. Jon Paul Rodríguez, Chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission. Dr. Rodríguez was selected from a pool of dozens of candidates representing 16 countries across five continents who lead conservation projects that span the globe in virtually every aspect of conservation.
Applications will be open from February 15 through April 15, 2023 and a recipient of the Wolfgang Kiessling International Prize for Species Conservation will be named in June 2023.
Applicants can learn more about the prize and submit their credentials by visiting https://humaneconservation.org/kiessling/.