WCS announced that Fabricio Díaz Santos, Coordinator of WCS's Jaguar Conservation Program in Nicaragua, has been honored with a 2019 Disney Conservation Hero Award. The award recognizes local citizens for their commitment to save wildlife, protect habitats and inspire their communities to take part in conservation efforts. Recipients from around the world were nominated by nonprofit environmental organizations, and each honoree and his nominating organization will share a $1,500 award from the Disney Conservation Fund.

Fabricio Díaz Santos has been interested in wildlife and dedicated to conserving it since he was young. Through education, fieldwork and a tireless pursuit of knowledge, he developed a deep understanding of Nicaragua’s natural history and the conservation challenges the country faces. His charisma, professionalism, unconditional dedication to conservation and generosity of spirit have also earned him the trust of diverse indigenous communities in remote territories important to wildlife and to local cultural heritage. Over the last decade, Santos has led jaguar surveys and research, established the largest network of protected forest plots in Nicaragua, empowered local communities to participate in and take ownership of conservation projects, and inspired local governments to become allies in conservation. His incomparable work ethic and diplomacy have been recognized at local, national and international levels and directly impacted conservation of Nicaragua’s biodiversity.

Díaz Santos is one of only 18 award recipients in 2019 globally. Said Díaz Santos: “My work with biodiversity has been a lesson in life, from the fine details of coexistence between plants and birds to the magnificence and power of the jaguars, rivers and tropical forests of Nicaragua, bearing witness to this vibrant network of life, and the urgent need to conserve these ecosystems for the survival of human society.”

Disney Conservation is committed to saving wildlife and building a global community inspired to work together to protect the magic of nature. Since 1995, the Disney Conservation Fund has directed $86 million to support nonprofit organizations working with communities to save wildlife, inspire action and protect the planet, and has honored more than 180 Conservation Heroes for their extraordinary conservation efforts.

For information on Disney’s commitment to conservation and a complete list of recent Conservation Hero Award recipients, visit Disney.com/Conservation.