Fourth annual event awards enforcement personnel and others on the front lines of illegal wildlife trade

Wildlife Conservation Society created the event in 2008

BEIJING (July 25, 2012) — Nominees for China’s fourth annual “Wildlife Guardian” competition, which awards the best customs officials, forest police, border guards, community organizations, and individuals working on wildlife conservation and law enforcement, were announced in Beijing recently.

The competition, created by the Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) China Program, draws attention to the pivotal role China can play in controlling the illegal trade in wildlife. Fifteen nominees are being considered for this year’s competition. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in September.

The event celebrates the China Wildlife Guardian Action Program, which contributes to wildlife conservation through anti-poaching, stopping illegal wildlife trade, promoting communication on conservation and enforcement, and building capacity in conservation and enforcement.

China is a massive importer of illegal wildlife including turtles and tortoises, snakes, ivory, tiger skin, tiger bone, saiga horn, pangolin and body parts of other species, some of which are near extinction.

Nominees are judged on the number and the increase of enforcement cases, seized wildlife species, the size of their work area, and the difficulty of their job. Winners will receive law enforcement equipment including cameras, binoculars, and motorcycles and have the opportunity to participate in an upcoming training workshop organized by the WCS China Program in Guangzhou City.

Elizabeth Bennett, WCS Vice President for Species Conservation at WCS, said: “China is in a key position to play a leadership role worldwide on this issue, and its guardians program is a fantastic way to do it.”

Held in the National Science Library of Chinese Academy of Sciences, the July 13 nominee ceremony was attended by the Forest Public Security Bureau of State Forestry Administration, the Anti-Smuggling Bureau of General Administration of Customs, the China Environmental Protection Foundation, and the SEE Foundation. Media in attendance included China Daily, People’s Daily, National Geographic (Chinese version), and Chinese National Geography.

The ceremony included remarks by Li Chengfeng, Manager of Liaison Department (International Cooperation) of the China Environmental Protection Foundation, and Dr. Aili Kang, Country Director of the WCS China Program.

Other supporters include the Blue Moon Fund, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), and TRAFFIC.

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth. Visit

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