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8 environmental stewards win $900,000 in biodiversity awards

cator, and administrator. For the past eight years she has been ACG's assistant director for biodiversity.

Graham (Guillermo) Harris, an Argentinean, nominated for a Leadership Award for his work in defending terrestrial wildlife in southernmost South America. Harris is president of Fundacion Patagonia Natural, the largest non-profit wildlife conservation organization in southern Argentina, as well as Southern Cone Regional Coordinator for the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society. Harris has worked to relocate tanker lanes away from the northeastern coast of Argentina, where oil from their ballast tanks was endangering penguins. He also works for the protection of some animals unfamiliar to the rest of the world, including the guanaco (a New World relative of the camel) that is hunted for dogfood, and the ostrichlike rhea. Harris is also a wildlife artist and writer.

Mengistu Wondafrash, an ornithologist and conservation biologist from Ethiopia, is the third candidate for a Leadership Award. He has worked under unfavorable economic and other conditions to protect endangered bird species, especially in Ethiopia. Among them are the globally precarious White-winged Flufftail. Wondafrash has worked to create and protect the wetland breeding habitats of the flufftail, which is believed to number only 750 globally. He has written: "It is my inherent belief that the only and highest service I can ever render to my country is to be involved in activities related to conservation of biodiversity and the environment and promotion of wise use of natural resources. Conservation is my lifestyle." Wondafrash currently is studying environment and development at Reading University, U.K.

A tie vote

After extensive discussion, the nominators reached a tie vote for a fourth Leadership Award. They asked that the award be divided among:

Christopher Birkinshaw, a plant ecologist employed by the Missouri Botanica
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3-Aug-2004


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