Field Museum gives prestigious Parker Gentry Award to Tanzanian anti-poaching activist

September 24, 2003

CHICAGO--The Field Museum announces it will give its eighth annual Parker/Gentry Award to Lorivi Ole Moirana, Chief Warden of Tanzania's National Park System, for his courageous and tireless efforts on behalf of Tanzania's parks.

While head warden of Ruaha National Park from the mid-1980s to mid-1990s, Moirana was responsible for shutting down some of the most extensive elephant poaching in the country. His current duties include management of anti-poaching work throughout Tanzania's national park system.

Moirana has also been active in expanding Tanzania's national parks as a means to protect their remarkable plant and animal life, and rich biodiversity. As chief warden of Kilimanjaro National Park from 1997 to 2001, he convinced the Tanzanian government to expand the park's boundary below the tree line to incorporate its distinct forest habitat, which had been subject to illegal logging. Largely through his passionate efforts, the park has been transformed into a compelling example of outstanding wilderness management and conservation.

"In an arena of wildlife and natural habitats under increasing pressure, Mr. Moirana is a shining light as a conservationist," said Bill Stanley, collection manager, mammals, at The Field Museum. "Respectful of the complexities of the problems, yet uncompromising in his objectives, Lorivi sets a sterling example of how we can conserve the unique biota of this planet."

In 2002, Moirana was one of two people honored with the first National Geographic Society/Buffet Award for Leadership in African Conservation.

Established in 1996 by an anonymous donor, the Parker/Gentry Award honors an outstanding individual, team or organization in the field of conservation biology whose efforts have had a significant impact on preserving the world's rich natural heritage - and whose actions and approach can serve as a model to others.

This year, The Field Museum will present the award to Moirana at a private reception October 7, 2003.

The Award bears the names of the late Theodore A. Parker III and Alwyn Gentry, ardent conservationists and leading naturalists. Parker, an ornithologist, and Gentry, a botanist, died on August 3, 1991, while surveying hill forests of western Ecuador. The pair worked closely with Field Museum scientists on several joint efforts, including the Rapid Assessment Program, a collaboration between The Field Museum and Conservation International.
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