It's been a long time since I won an award, I think the last time was the 400m sprint at the 1986 school district field meet. So it is with great delight that IAATE (International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators) awarded The Parahawking Project the 2010 Enrichment Behaviour Award for Parahawking.
The goal of the IAATE Enrichment Behaviour Award is to recognise the individual or facility that has made the most creative or innovative in training a behaviour that enriches lives in a species appropriate manner. Applications were evaluated on originality of behaviour.
We believed that Parahawking met all those criteria and so did IAATE. A very proud day for all of the Parahawking team, it made the last 10 years of hard work well worth it.
At the same time we also applied for a conservation grant to assist with the funding for the Pokhara Vulture Safe Zone project. The goal of the IAATE Conservation Grant is to support member participation in avian conservation efforts taking place both in the field and in zoos and other avian facilities. The maximum grant available was $5000.
We were delighted when we found out that we had won a grant for $3000, a substantial amount of money. As promised we donated the entire amount to BCN - Bird Conservation Nepal to assist with the funding of the Vulture Safe Zone project in Pokhara. The $3000 grant paid for the entire construction of the observation hide at the site.
It is because of Parahawking and the international media attention that we receive, we are able to raise funds and awareness on an international level for vital vulture conservation projects in Nepal.
As some of you may be aware, Parahawking in Nepal is under threat and could potentially be banned. Parahawking provides a unique platform to promote difficult conservation issues, we hope that with your support we can continue to highlight the plight of Asia's vultures and help prevent the extinction of this important raptor species.
For more information about IAATE, go to - www.iaate.org