The biennial award includes a $50,000 grant to support Hudson's conservation work.
Rick Hudson, an expert in the field of herpetology and the founder and executive director of the International Iguana Foundation and current president of the Turtle Survival Alliance’s Board of Directors, has been awarded the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium’s Commitment to Conservation Award. The biennial award includes a $50,000 grant to support Hudson’s conservation work and is presented by Kim and Steve Germain.
“Whether he was working on the recovery of the endangered Jamaican iguana population through head start and reintroduction programs, helping to rescue radiated tortoises from a massive confiscation in Madagascar, or establishing assurance populations of imperiled species in range countries, Rick’s work has made a profound conservation impact. Rick embodies the drive, heart, and spirit of collaboration that aligns with the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium’s values as a global leader in wildlife conservation. Those traits, along with tremendous example he sets for future conservationists, is why we are proud to recognize Rick with the Columbus Zoo’s 2021 Commitment to Conservation Award,” said Tom Schmid, President and CEO of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
“The Zoo’s Commitment to Conservation Award was established in 2011 to recognize and reward global conservation heroes who have made a measureable impact on wildlife conservation, and to honor the lifetime achievements and dedication of the field partners who have shared a long-term working relationship with the Columbus Zoo,” the zoo wrote in a news release announcing the award.
“I am deeply honored and grateful to receive this award, which will go a long way in continuing to make a positive difference for these species that are so deserving of our help. The Columbus Zoo has stood behind me for over 20 years, and with their help and support, we have faced some pretty serious wildlife crises together. It has been an incredible conservation partnership, and our long-term collaboration and shared commitment to assuring that these species are around for generations to come makes this award just that much more special,” Hudson said.