Heroic UEA Professor wins $250,000 award for saving critically endangered birds

He saved the pink pigeons

A UEA professor has received the world’s leading award for his part in helping to save rare birds.

Professor Carl Jones, who teaches in the School of Biological Sciences,  from the School of Biological Sciences,  won the Indianapolis award for his work with endangered birds. He also won $250,000 and the Lilly Medal.

He said: “Winning the 2016 Indianapolis Prize is undoubtedly one of the highlights of my career”.

The honorary reader in Ecology and Conservation Biology worked in Mauritius for over 40 years, during which time he has brought back species such as the pink pigeon, echo parakeet, Rodrigues warbler and Rodrigues fody.

Jones said: “I’m particularly proud of this award because it validates the conservation of animals – like Telfair’s skinks and pink pigeons – that are not megavertebrates, but provide critically important ecosystem services nonetheless.”

Most impressively, the scientific director of the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation saved the rarest bird in the world, the Mauritius kestrel, which was down to just one breeding pair.

The Professor said: “My links to UEA have been very important since Dr Diana Bell and her many students helped develop some of the studies on the endangered species and in particular helped with the pink pigeon and Mauritius fody.”

Good to see a scientist getting the birds for once.