Amstrup tags a sedated female polar bear.Photo by Daniel Cox.
Poachers, disease, civil wars, heat, cold, rain, drought, pollution, ignorance, indifference. Those are just some of the challenges faced by the 29 conservationists who have devoted their lives to saving the Earthâ€™s endangered species and who have been nominated to receive the biennial Indianapolis Prize, the worldâ€™s leading award for animal conservation. Steven C. Amstrup, Ph.D., is one of them. Amstrup, chief scientist for the Bozeman, Mont.-based Polar Bears International, currently living in Kettle Falls, Wash., has been nominated for his groundbreaking research on this iconic and imperiled species. Amstrup described the year-round movements of polar bears, discovered where they den, and developed Forward Looking Infrared techniques to protect dens hidden under the snow. His research became the basis of the 2008 listing of polar bears as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.
*See the complete story by Sophia Aldous in the 11-23-2011 edition of the S-E.