Congratulations to Dr Phil Bishop on winning the inaugural national Conservationist of the Year Award from Auckland Zoo.
Auckland Zoo Press release:
Dr Phil Bishop, University of Otago frog research leader and former co-leader of the Native Frog Recovery Group has been named Conservationist of the Year for his extensive work in frog research, and communicating the conservation message about frogs to the wider community.
Mad about frogs and toads since the age of four, Dr Bishop says New Zealand’s four native frogs are the most evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered amphibians in the world, and should be national icons like the kiwi and tuatara.
“We have the most significant frogs in the world, and several species are in danger of becoming extinct in our life time. It’s morally irresponsible for us to sit back and document their declines without working to prevent their extinction,” says Dr Bishop, who, receives $1000 towards a frog conservation project.
“As the inaugural recipient, I’m truly honoured to receive this zoo award during the global Year of the Frog, in which I’ve pulled out all stops to ensure as many people as possible find out about these frogs and how we can help them.”
Auckland Zoo conservation officer Peter Fraser says Isabella Wilson (Young Conservationist of the Year) and Dr Bishop are “shining examples of how people with passion and drive can really make a difference.”
“For Auckland Zoo, these awards are a great opportunity to recognise conservation excellence and to also profile conservation issues and further the shared conservation goals of New Zealanders. As the awards grow, we aim to secure sponsorship to enable us to offer substantial financial assistance to winners’ conservation projects,” says Mr Fraser.