25 August 2017

Prestigious award for leading wildlife and conservation charity

GWCT Staff In France

THE Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT) has been recognised for its groundbreaking work in wildlife management and conservation in Europe after scooping a flagship award.

The Jan van Haaften IUGB (International Union of Game Biologists) Award for Wildlife Management in Europe was presented to the Trust on Thursday August 24th in the closing ceremony of the three-day conference in Montpellier, France.

Collecting the award from the GWCT were scientists Roger Draycott, Nicholas Aebischer, Julie Ewald, Ryan Burrell, Mike Short, Francis Buner, Dave Baines and Sonja Ludwig. Former GWCT scientists Dave Butler and Carlos Sánchez were also present.

Dr Julie Ewald, head of geographical information systems (GIS) at the Trust, said “It was indeed an honour for the Trust to receive this very prestigious award."

"When IUGB Past President Dr Yves Lecocq stood up to announce the Jan van Haaften award, he began by emphasising that the award can be given to an individual or a team, emphasising the word team.  And when Dr Lecocq announced that the Trust’s research team was the recipients of the award for 2017, all of the research team present were delighted.

"Dr Lecocq, representing the judging panel, cited the international reputation of the Trust’s research, the sustained record of that research and the direct value of that research in managing and conserving game and wildlife.  It is particularly poignant that the Trust received the award this year, following the death of Dick Potts. At the 25th IUGB congress in 2001, both Dick and Jan van Haaften were honoured for their contribution to conservation.  Those of us present to accept the Jan van Haaften award this year felt it fitting to have our photograph with the award in front of the poster Dr Nicholas Aebischer had produced for the conference on the research Dick Potts had undertaken during his life.  We felt the award reflected Dick’s legacy and was an acknowledgment of the work and dedication of the GWCT research team, as well as all GWCT staff, students and volunteers.”  

The Jan van Haaften Award for Wildlife Management in Europe is a distinction bestowed since 2013 by the IUGB for eminent service to applied wildlife research in Europe, contributing to the best possible management and conservation.

It’s in memory of famous Dutch Professor Dr Jan L. van Haaften (1928 – 2012), whose career included research on roe deer, seals, wolf and brown bear in the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Romania and Mongolia, while contributing greatly to the understanding of the relationship between large carnivores and their prey.

He was co-founder of IUGB and participated in most IUGB Congresses until 2011. The basic selection criterion for the Jan van Haaften IUGB Award is the significance and impact of an individual’s or a team’s contribution(s) to the field of wildlife research, undertaken in Europe and having resulted in application of management and conservation “on the ground”.

The judging panel for the award consisted of members of the Congress Scientific Committee and the European IUGB Presidents - past, acting and elect.

Notes to editors

The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trust – providing research-led conservation for a thriving countryside. The GWCT is an independent wildlife conservation charity which has carried out scientific research into Britain’s game and wildlife since the 1930s. We advise farmers and landowners on improving wildlife habitats. We employ 22 post-doctoral scientists and 50 other research staff with expertise in areas such as birds, insects, mammals, farming, fish and statistics. We undertake our own research as well as projects funded by contract and grant-aid from Government and private bodies. The Trust is also responsible for a number of Government Biodiversity Action Plan species and is lead partner for grey partridge and joint lead partner for brown hare and black grouse.

ISDN radio broadcast line – at our Fordingbridge HQ we have an ISDN radio broadcast line, allowing us to conduct interviews remotely.

For information, contact:
Kate Williams
Telephone: 01425 651000
Email: press@gwct.org.uk

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