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Global Humane Opens Applications for Third Annual Wolfgang Kiessling International Prize for Species Conservation

Applications for Prestigious Award and Corresponding Grant Close June 1, 2024

WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, March 1, 2024 — Today, Global Humane opened applications for the prestigious 2024 Wolfgang Kiessling International Prize, dedicated to protecting and preserving the remarkable animals of our world.

The annual Kiessling Prize brings global attention and support to individuals making extraordinary contributions to the field of wildlife conservation. The eponymous award was established in 2022 in honor of Wolfgang F. Kiessling, founder of Loro Parque and Loro Parque Foundation, and a globally recognized leader in the field.

At a time when Earth is in the midst of a sixth mass extinction—putting up to 1 million species at risk of extinction—wildlife conservation is more important than ever.

“We are thrilled to start the search for the winner of the third annual Wolfgang Kiessling International Prize for Species Conservation,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of Global Humane. “This award honors inspiring conservationists around the world doing heroic work to protect our planet and its diverse animals.”

“I am honored to partner with Global Humane to recognize incredible colleagues who share in our mission to save animal species before they disappear forever,” said Kiessling. “We look forward to once again recognizing a world-class conservationist making a meaningful difference in the fight for species survival.”

The Kiessling Prize selection committee is led by Dr. Robin Ganzert, Brad Andrews, Christoph Kiessling, Cybell Kiessling, and Dr. Javier Almunia. The committee will review applications, ultimately choosing one to take home the top prize along with a grant to help further their work to make significant contributions to the practical application, research, and theory of species protection.

The committee awarded Professor Theo B. Pagel, CEO of the Cologne Zoo in Germany, with the 2023 Kiessling Prize for his lifelong dedication to wildlife conservation.

Pagel served as the former president of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums and currently co-chairs the international Reverse the Red initiative of the Species Survival Commission of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

In 2022, the inaugural Kiessling Prize was awarded to Dr. Jon Paul Rodríguez, Chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission.

The application period for the 2024 Kiessling Prize will close on June 1, 2024. Applicants can learn more about the prize and submit their credentials here.


About Global Humane:
Global Humane is the international brand of American Humane, which is the United States’ first national humane organization and the world’s largest certifier of animal welfare, helping to verify the humane treatment of more than one billion animals across the globe each year. Founded in 1877, American Humane has been First to Serve™ the cause of animals and for 145 years has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in the humane movement. For more information or to support our lifesaving work, please visit, follow us on Facebook, X and Instagram and subscribe to our channel on YouTube for the latest breaking news and features about the animals with whom we share our Earth.

About Wolfgang Kiessling and Loro Parque:
Wolfgang Kiessling is a world-renowned conservationist and founder of Loro Parque, one of the most well-respected zoological institutions in the world, named twice “#1 Zoo of the World” by TripAdvisor, and known for the excellence of its facilities and its incredible work to save species on the brink of extinction. Up until today, Loro Parque Fundación has saved 12 parrot species from extinction. Kiessling was awarded the Gold Medal of the bird journal Gefiederte Welt for the first breeding of the blue-throated macaw and was honored with the Gold Medal from the Government of the Canary Islands, the Gold Medal from the Government of Spain, named “Adoptive Son of Tenerife” by the Island Council as well as the Town of Puerto de la Cruz, and was also honored with Spain’s highest distinction: the Principe Felipe Award for Business Excellence.

Founded in 1972 by Kiessling, Loro Parque was initially created as a paradise for parrots and began its journey with only 150 parrots. The park, located on the island of Tenerife in Spain’s Canary Islands, now has more than 4,000 specimens of 350 different species and subspecies of parrots, demonstrating its outstanding success in boosting the parrot population. Loro Parque is also home to flamingos, cranes, penguins, and swans, as well as many species of mammals and marine life. 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 become the first zoo in Europe to receive Global Humane Certification, reinforcing its recognition as a global leader in animal welfare.

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