Noted snow leopard expert and wildlife conservationist Charudutt Mishra has won the prestigious Whitley Gold Award for his contribution to involving indigenous communities in the conservation and recovery of big cat species in Asia’s high mountain ecosystems. Princess Anne presented the award to Mishra at London’s Royal Geographic Society. This is his second Whitley Fund for Nature (WFN) Award. He got the first in 2005.
UK-based wildlife conservation charity WFN said Mishra was given the award for his work in 12 snow leopard range countries including Afghanistan, China, and Russia. In 2017, Mishra wrote a paper on eight approaches to community-based conservation that helped involve local communities in snow leopard protection in the upper reaches of the Himalayas, leading to a reduction in retribution killings of the big cats. UN Biodiversity Conference recognised his approach as an outstanding global practice.
About the Charudutt Mishra:
- Mishra is co-founder of Mysore (Karnataka)-based Nature Conservation Foundation and executive director of the Snow Leopard Trust.
- Mishra established India’s first community-based initiatives to save the endangered snow leopard. These include innovative livestock insurance programmes to boost income and discourage retaliatory killings and locally-managed wildlife reserves on community land.