We are delighted to announce that applications for the McKenna-Travers Award for Compassionate Conservation (MTA) 2020 are now being accepted. 

Named in honour of Virginia McKenna OBE, her late husband Bill Travers MBE, and their eldest son, Will Travers OBE, who co-founded the charity that became Born Free in 1984, the award will not only raise the professional profile of the winner, but offers a substantial project grant worth up to £10,000 to help the winner implement their Compassionate Conservation agenda.

Compassionate Conservation puts the welfare of individual wild animals at the heart of effective conservation actions. Entries should highlight the positive welfare impacts of their conservation achievements and how their proposed conservation programme significantly reduces any negative impacts on the individual animals involved.

Virginia McKenna stated: "I hope this award will recognise, inspire and support outstanding individual conservationists, researchers and practitioners, who place a very high priority on animal welfare and who incorporate a compassionate approach to the field conservation of species under threat, conservation policy or environmental education.”

2020 is the eighth year that the award will recognise individuals across the globe, with previous winners including:

  • Jackson Mbeke, Director of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education (GRACE) for his work with critically endangered eastern lowland gorillas
  • Shivani Bhalla, of the Ewaso Lions Project, for her work on human-lion conflict
  • Professor Anna Nekaris, of Oxford Brookes University and the Little Fireface Project, for her work on slow loris conservation and welfare
  • The Mad Dog Initiative, a project which aims to deliver conservation benefits to endangered species by humanely controlling domestic and feral dogs in and around Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar
  • Neotropical Primate Conservation in Peru, which tackles illegal wildlife trade by partnering with wildlife authorities, police, public prosecutors, and grassroots organisations
  • Dr Jamartin Sihite of the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation for his work reintroducing over 400 rescued orangutans back to their natural habitat.

The application period for the 2020 McKenna-Travers Award is now open and the deadline for applications is 28th August 2020. The winner will be announced on 17th October 2020.




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