August 25, 2017

Chris Kelly Recognised for Special Award for Endangered Species Conservation

Wildlife ACT co-founder, Chris Kelly, wins award for 1st Runner-up in the Endangered Species Conservation category at the Rhino Conservation Awards 2017

We are very proud to announce that Wildlife ACT's own Chris Kelly was recognised as a conservation hero at the Rhino Conservation Awards 2017. Chris was up against the whole of African Parks who took first prize. This Special Award for Endangered Species Conservation was offered for the very first time at theRhino Conservation Awards.[caption id="attachment_15503" align="aligncenter" width="960"]

Chris Kelly Awarded at the Rhino Conservation Awards 2017

Chris Kelly awarded at the Rhino Conservation Awards 2017.[/caption]The Rhino Conservation Awards honours those who strive to limit risks and vulnerabilities within their specific areas of expertise: from field rangers and conservation practitioners; political, investigative and judicial supporters, to endangered species conservationists. It recognises those who have made amarked impact in the war against rhino poaching and within the conservation field - with a holistic view of rhino conservation.The founders of the Awards, Dr Larry Hansen and Miss Xiaoyang Yu expressed their appreciation for every action taken against all forms of poaching, at all levels:

“Congratulations to all of the participants and winners of the Awards. It is a privilege to celebrate your work and your efforts to protect Africa’s rhino,” said Dr Hansen. “Know that we will continue to stand at your side, as every effort is recognised and appreciated.”

Why Chris Kelly is deserving as a Conservation Hero

Chris Kelly has been actively involved in wildlife conservation since he left school. After completing his diploma in Nature Conservation, his practical involved training along Zululand’s coastline monitoring turtles and crocodiles. Here he developed a keen interest in game capture and soon thereafter found himself managing and running a chemical and passive game capture for a private company.[caption id="attachment_13831" align="aligncenter" width="960"]

Fitting GPS Ankle Collar. Photo: Kelvin Trautman

Chris Kelly fitting a GPS ankle collar to a rhino. Photo: Kelvin Trautman[/caption]

“During this time I noted the need and the importance of post-release monitoring efforts of the priority species we moved onto the reserves. This led me onto my next experience working as a researcher and post-release monitor of Black Rhino in conjunction with the WWF Black Rhino Range Expansion Project. Enjoying the monitoring operations of my work, I decided to move into a permanent post at uMkhuze Game Reserve where I oversaw all monitoring operations.”

It was after working on a fair number of game reserves across South Africa, that Chris Kelly realised the need for properly managed and funded monitoring programs on reserves which had endangered and priority species. This led to the formation of Wildlife ACT with his 2 co-founders in 2008.[caption id="attachment_13829" align="aligncenter" width="960"]

Photo: Kelvin Trautman

Photo: Kelvin Trautman[/caption]We couldn't be prouder of you Chris. Congratulations and well-deserved!

About the Rhino Conservation Awards

The Rhino Conservation Awards have been held annually since 2012, celebrating those that continue to fight in the rhino poaching war, under the patronage of Prince Albert II of Monaco. The Awards were founded by Dr Larry Hansen and Miss Xiaoyang Yu, are sponsored by ZEISS, and are held in collaboration with the South African Department of Environmental Affairs and the Game Rangers Association of Africa.