We are thrilled to announce the shortlist of six finalists for the Whitley Awards 2017. This prestigious international prize honours exceptional individuals working in grassroots nature conservation in the world’s developing countries, and who often face humanitarian, environmental and political challenges in the projects they undertake.

Selected from a field of 166 applicants from 66 countries, the six wildlife conservationists shortlisted for the chance to win an award and a share in funding worth £210,000 are:

Ximena Velez-Liendo: An uphill climb: enabling coexistence of Andean bears and farmers in the Bolivian mountains

Alexander Blanco: Nest protectors: conserving Venezuela’s magnificent harpy eagles as a rainforest flagship

Ian Little: Custodians of South Africa’s threatened grassland biodiversity

Purnima Barman: Inspiring women to protect Assam’s greater adjutant and its habitat, India

Sanjay Gubbi: Reducing deforestation in Karnataka’s tiger corridors, India

Indira Lacerna-Widmann: Partnering with prisoners to safeguard the Critically Endangered Philippine cockatoo

The charity’s patron HRH The Princess Royal will announce the final results at a special evening ceremony hosted by BBC presenter Tom Heap on Thursday 18th May at the Royal Geographical Society in London. HRH The Princess Royal will also present an additional prize, the Whitley Gold Award worth £50,000; the winner of this will be announced on the night.

During their trip to London, the finalists will have the opportunity to meet WFN Patron, HRH The Princess Royal, network with the other finalists, attend receptions with leading conservation organisations and academics, meet Whitley Fund for Nature donors and participate in professional development training.

The Whitley Awards Ceremony takes place on Thursday May 18th at London’s Royal Geographical Society. Please note that attendance at this event is by invitation only, please contact the WFN office for more information: info@whitleyaward.org