New Delhi: The Sanctuary Nature Foundation has announced the Sanctuary Wildlife and Photography Awards 2022. The awards were instituted in 2000 have highlighted the work of quiet, courageous Earth Defenders.
In its 22nd year, the Sanctuary Wildlife Awards honours often unknown men and women working silently, but whose work and exemplary lives are an inspiration to the youth of today.
Eminent conservationist Dr. Vibhu Prakash- whoes name is synonymous with vulture conservation in India, has been conferred with Lifetime Service Award.
Dr. Prakash played an instrumental role in the banning of veterinary use of diclofenac – the drug that caused the decline in vultures. With over four decades of raptor studies and vulture conservation behind him, he continues his vital work in the field. Today he is a Ph.D. guide for students at the Mumbai University.
Dr. Prakash has been the Deputy Director and Principal Scientist of the Bombay Natural History Society since June 1995.
He was involved in setting up the internationally acclaimed Vulture Conservation Breeding Programme with centres in Pinjore (Haryana), Buxa (West Bengal), Rani (Assam) and in Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh).
Today, these centres manage more than 800 vultures. Additionally, 344 hatchlings have been successfully reared. The Sanctuary Wildlife Awards, sponsored by DSP Mutual Fund, co-sponsored by Godrej Industries and Morningstar India, presented at the iconic National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA), Mumbai.
Bittu Sahgal, Founder and Editor, Sanctuary Asia said that “The Sanctuary Wildlife Awards were launched in 2000, and our strategy then was to hone in on virtually unknown wildlife defenders, shine a spotlight on their work and have some of the most prominent and credible individuals present them with recognition and admiration in the form of awards and public recognition”
“The Earth Defenders included forest guards and middle-level forest officers, quiet but brilliant scientists, teachers, young adults, and photographers. They all had one thing in common a burning desire to protect the biosphere and leave a better, safer planet for future generations”.
In the the category of Wildlife service, the Award went to climate activist Rituraj Phukan, Ecologist Ramana Athreya, Conservationist Arun Venkataramanan, conservationist Panchami Manoo Ukil, Naturalist Shabir Husain Bhat.
The young Naturalist Award went to Conservationist, Munmuni Payeng, and Green Teacher Award conferred to Educationist, forest custodian and Earth doctor Suprabha Seshan.
Sanctuary Wildlife and Photography Awards 2022:- This year, the first prize was awarded to photographer Anirban Dutta for clicking a swarm of termites around a street lamp in Cooch Behar as a Black Drongo bird swoops to pick morsels.
Photographer Abhijit Somvanshi won the second prize for capturing a face-off between a pair of Indian jackals and a Hawk Eagle at the Pench Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh.
The third prize was awarded to photographer Anand Boraa for clicking a leopard who was trying to get away from humans attempting to catch it. The photograph was shot in Nashik.
The Editor’s Choice award went to Mayuresh Kishor Hendre for Table for Two. Two sleek, beautifully spotted, small Indian civetsViverricula indica are frozen in this camera trap image from Jamoon village on the outskirts of the Corbett Tiger Reserve, Uttarakhand.