The newly established Professor Nikolai Vorontsov Prize recognises scientists' merits in the study and protection of mammals. The prize is awarded for achievements in scientific research that made a significant contribution to theriology and that took place in protected areas of the Russian Federation.
The protected areas of our country are grounds for researching the nearly intact nature, studying the influence of global processes on biodiversity, and preserving rare species of plants and animals. Historically, year-round observations have always been conducted in Russian nature reserves and national parks; their results are summarised and incorporated in fundamental scientific works and in applied research, which are extremely important for the conservation of biocenoses.
"Our organisation, essentially a charitable environmental foundation, realises how important science is for protecting wild animals," said Yelena Gangalo, general director of the Far Eastern Leopards autonomous non-profit organisation. "In our work to preserve the Far Eastern leopard, we rely on modern scientific research — this is one of our priorities. However, research cannot be limited to a single area, since we are interested in finding and attracting the best scientists, including young professionals, capable of answering the most important questions about the preservation of our national heritage — nature."
"We hope that the Professor Nikolai Vorontsov Prize will promote theriological research in Russian nature reserves and national parks. This is extremely important in planning effective measures for the conservation of biodiversity," said Merited Ecologist of Russia Vsevolod Stepanitsky, an advisor to the Far Eastern Leopards general director.
A wide range of research projects can be submitted for the Vorontsov Prize. It includes studies in zoogeography, physiology, morphology, genetics, population ecology, phylogeny, systematics, biology and mammal behaviour that reveal significant patterns of mammalian biology based on the analysis of materials collected in protected areas both through long-term observation and over just a few field seasons.
The prize is open to scientists whose works contribute to the development of effective methods for protecting and restoring mammal populations, study the biology of rare and endangered species, provide a basis for new research areas or scientific schools and create the potential for further use of their findings.
Employees of nature reserves and national parks, staff of state academic and educational institutions, foreign scientists carrying out research in Russia's protected areas and research teams can contend for the prize.
Far Eastern Leopards will form an expert commission comprising reputable, qualified biologists and zoologists to review the studies submitted for the Vorontsov Prize.
From 15 January to 15 March 2019, Far Eastern Leopards will be accepting entries for the 2019 Professor Nikolai Vorontsov Prize. More details on the terms of the prize and the conditions for submitting and accepting documents are available on the Far Eastern Leopards website.