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Behler Turtle Conservation Award

John L. Behler

    The IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group (TFTSG) and Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) in 2006 established the Behler Turtle Conservation Award, a major annual award (similar to the Nobel Prize, but much smaller) to honor leadership and excellence in the field of tortoise and freshwater turtle conservation. The award honors the late John L. Behler, previous Chair of the TFTSG and Curator of Herpetology at the Bronx Zoo, Wildlife Conservation Society, New York, who passed away at an untimely early age in 2006.

    The Behler Award is presented jointly by the TFTSG and TSA and includes an honorarium of $3000. Co-sponsoring supporters for the award have been Chelonian Research Foundation, Conservation International, Chelonian Research Institute, Turtle Conservancy / Behler Chelonian Center, World Chelonian Trust, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Wildlife Conservation Society, Deborah Behler, and Brett and Nancy Stearns. Selection of the annual awardee is through nominations and an internal review process by the leadership of the TFTSG and TSA, and is not open to applications for support.

     In addition to honoring the life-time achievements of senior turtle and tortoise conservationists, the Behler Award also honors current conservation efforts by younger individuals who are making major contributions to the field. Recognizing and valuing the often tireless and dedicated efforts made by all these individuals is important, and the Behler Award hopes to provide inspiration and reward for not only silverback veterans with life-long achievements, but also younger and emerging leaders working on the front lines of global turtle conservation efforts.


Behler Turtle Conservation Award Honorees


2013 - 8th Annual Award
Rick Hudson




2012 - 7th Annual Award
Anders G.J. Rhodin




2011 - 6th Annual Award
John B. Iverson





2010 - 5th Annual Award
Bernard Devaux




2009 - 4th Annual Award
Gerald Kuchling




2008 - 3rd Annual Award
Peter Pritchard




2007 - 2nd Annual Award
Whit Gibbons




2006 - 1st Annual Award
Ed Moll



Formal Listing:

Award Honoree: John L. Behler, USA
Award Founders: Anders G.J. Rhodin, Sweden / USA and Rick Hudson, USA

2006 -- 1st Award: Edward O. Moll, USA
2007 -- 2nd Award: J. Whitfield Gibbons, USA
2008 -- 3rd Award: Peter C.H. Pritchard, United Kingdom / USA
2009 -- 4th Award: Gerald Kuchling, Austria / Australia
2010 -- 5th Award: Bernard Devaux, France
2011 – 6th Award: John B. Iverson, USA
2012 – 7th Award: Anders G.J. Rhodin, Sweden / USA
2013 – 8th Award: Rick Hudson, USA