Dr Mark Stanley Price, Marwell Wildlife Trustee, received the inaugural ‘Lifetime Contribution to Wildlife Translocations Award’ from the IUCN SSC Reintroduction Specialist Group at the ‘Second International Wildlife Reintroduction Conference’ in Chicago in November 2018.
Mark has provided global leadership on reintroductions since he managed the pioneering project to save the Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx) from extinction by reintroducing it back into the deserts of Oman between 1979 and 1987. In 1988 Mark established, and became the first chair, of the International Union for Conservation of Nature Species Survival Commission’s (IUCN SSC) Reintroduction Specialist Group. The group was established due to the increase in reintroduction projects worldwide and the need for reintroduction guidelines to assist practitioners in conducting viable reintroduction projects around the world. These guidelines were first published in 1998 and set the standard that reintroduction practitioners aspired to.
From 2010-2012, Mark chaired a joint Task Force between the IUCN SSC Reintroduction and Invasive Species Specialist Groups, that delivered updated Guidelines for Reintroductions and other Conservation Translocations. Today, the 2013 guidelines form the bedrock of good reintroduction practice around the world. Over his career, Mark has published numerous books, book chapters, scientific papers and articles that contribute to our understanding of reintroductions and other conservation translocations, and challenges conservationists to aspire to a higher standard. Alongside his global leadership, Mark has generously donated his time to help train the next generation of conservation biologists by delivering sessions on the future of reintroductions to the students on the joint MRes Wildlife Conservation of the University of Southampton and Marwell Wildlife.
All of this has been in addition to a long conservation career in Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and the UK, and alongside his current positions as a Senior Research Fellow at the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, University of Oxford, UK (WildCRU) and a Special Adviser to the Species Survival Commission.
Mark received his award after delivering the opening keynote address at the Second International Wildlife Reintroduction Conference in Chicago in November 2018. During the conference, Marwell Conservation Biologist, Dr Tania Gilbert also delivered a talk on ‘30-years of scimitar-horned oryx conservation in Tunisia’, and 2018 MRes graduate, Emily Jordan, gave a poster presentation on the ‘influence of personality on dispersal in sand lizard Lacerta agilis reintroductions’.
We are extremely lucky to secure Mark’s time as the Vice-Chair of the Board of Marwell Wildlife and Chair of its Conservation and Education Committee, and congratulate him on his well-deserved award for his outstanding contribution to wildlife reintroductions.