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Sergei Sleptsov and Ivan Danilov Receive Disney Conservation Hero Award
Baraboo, WI (Nov 4, 2016) – The International Crane Foundation (ICF) announced today that the team of Sergei Sleptsov and Ivan Danilov from the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Siberian Crane Foundation have been jointly honored with a Conservation Hero Award from the Disney Conservation Fund. The award recognizes local citizens for their commitment to reversing the decline of wildlife and engaging communities in conservation. Recipients from around the world were nominated by nonprofit environmental organizations, and each honoree and his or her nominating organization will share a $1,500 award from the fund.
“We couldn’t be prouder of Sergei and Ivan, who are true Conservation Heroes and have made huge strides in the understanding and conservation of the Critically Endangered Siberian Crane,” stated Claire Mirande, Senior Director of Conservation Networking of the ICF.
Each summer and fall Sergei Sleptsov and Ivan Danilov endure Russia’s harsh tundra conditions – coping with daily temperature fluctuations of 50 degrees or more, clouds of mosquitoes and gnats, and rain and snow – to conduct vital research on Siberian Cranes. Their field region covers two million acres, and often they are only able to reach their study sites on foot, carrying heavy supplies and gear.
“Often, during my long walks in the tundra, I am keenly aware when a Siberian Crane sees me. I understand that this particular bird recognizes me despite the huge distance between us. The crane has seen me for many years – and is therefore not afraid of me,” reflects Sergei.
Sergei has provided invaluable data on Siberian Cranes, participating in many international field expeditions to monitor their migration. He was even one of the first scientists who was able to capture Siberian Crane chicks in order to band them for study. In his long career, Ivan has led efforts to establish protected areas for Siberian Cranes and collected valuable scientific data used to justify protected area status in key crane breeding areas.
When asked about his dedication Ivan said: “I cannot live without our beautiful nature. I can exist, live, and work only within our Yakutian nature, and my soul wants to do all that is possible to for her well being”.
The Disney Conservation Fund focuses on reversing the decline of wildlife and increasing the time kids spend in nature. Since 2004, Disney has honored more than 100 Conservation Heroes from around the world for their extraordinary conservation efforts.
For information on Disney’s commitment to conserve nature and a complete list of 2016 Conservation Hero Award recipients, visit Disney.com/Conservation.
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About the International Crane Foundation: Founded in 1973, ICF is a 501(c)(3) organization that works worldwide to conserve cranes and the ecosystems, watersheds, and flyways on which they depend. ICF provides knowledge, leadership, and inspiration to engage people in resolving threats to cranes and their diverse landscapes. Learn more about our global conservation efforts at www.savingcranes.org.