Clark R. Bavin Wildlife Law Enforcement Awards


Recognizing those who demonstrate commitment and excellence in the enforcement of national and international wildlife protection laws

Since 1994, the Animal Welfare Institute, in coordination with the Species Survival Network (SSN), has presented the Clark R. Bavin Wildlife Law Enforcement Award to those who have gone beyond the call of duty and demonstrated a commitment and dedication to combating wildlife crime. The award is given in honor of the late US Fish and Wildlife Service's Mr. Clark R. Bavin, who was a pioneer in wildlife law enforcement. His far-sightedness and willingness to use novel yet complex sting operations to catch wildlife smugglers was ahead of its time and a model for today's wildlife crime fighters.

2019 Bavin Award - Photo by Kiara WorthWildlife crime is a global problem that requires a worldwide commitment to solve. From the acts of solitary poachers to well-financed and ruthless criminal syndicates, wildlife crime affects us all by harming biodiversity, threatening the lives of the brave men and women who combat such crime, and stealing our collective wildlife heritage from present and future generations. Today, wildlife criminals are not merely those who pull the trigger, cast the net, set the snare, or deliver the poison, but also those who forge documents, engage in internet sales of protected wildlife, transport illicit products, and finance criminal operations.

Wildlife law enforcement officers—relatively few in number—are committed to enforcing national wildlife laws and international commitments such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), enacted to protect and preserve the world’s biodiversity, particularly imperiled species and the habitats upon which they depend. Often unheralded, front-line officers routinely risk their lives to apprehend wildlife criminals. Scientists, administrators, attorneys, informants, judges, educators, forensic specialists, organizations, and others support these dedicated officers, and all are essential in combating wildlife crime. As the sophistication of wildlife criminal networks has grown, many countries have stepped up their efforts to combat this scourge.

The Clark R. Bavin Wildlife Law Enforcement Award—traditionally presented by the Secretary-General of CITES at the SSN reception at each meeting of the CITES Conference of the Parties (CoP)—has been bestowed upon law enforcement officers, prosecutors, national and international investigative teams, and nongovernmental organization representatives from nearly 30 countries.

  • Anti-Smuggling Bureau of China Customs – China
  • Ryan Bessey and Ryan Connors – US Fish and Wildlife Service; US Department of Justice, United States
  • Lance Cruse – United Kingdom’s Border Force, United Kingdom
  • Jonnes Alfred Kadamika – Malawi Police Service, Malawi
  • Thanatchon Kengkasikij – Royal Thai Police, Thailand
  • Ahmed Ali Mohamed – Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya
  • Paul Montuori – US Fish and Wildlife Service, United States
  • Tilotama Varma – Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, India

More About the 2022 Recipients

  • Vivek Menon – Wildlife Trust of India, India
  • Ross Galbraith – Environment Canada, Canada
  • Dr. Elizabeth Ehi-Ebewele – Wildlife and CITES Management Division, Department of Forestry, Nigeria (posthumous)
  • Josefina L. de Leon – Wildlife Resources Division for Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Philippines
  • Julius Kariuki Kimani – Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya (posthumous)
  • Julius Maluki Mwandai – Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya
  • Rameshwar Singh Thakur – Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, India
  • Lorena Alfonsina Fernández – Attorney General for the Environment, Honduras
  • Limbe Wildlife Centre – Cameroon
  • Wayne Lotter and the PAMS Foundation – Tanzania
  • Anti-Smuggling Bureau of China Customs – China
  • Patrick Muhayirwa, Charles Syaira, Jonas Malyani, Pacifique Fikirini, Faustin Nzabakurikiza, Jean Byamungu, Barthelemie Mulewa, Théodore Prince, Liévin Kasumba, Kanawa Sibomana, Ila Muranda, Rachel Baraka, Kasereka Ezéchiel, Freddy Muliro, Hakizimana Chadrack, and Musubaho Maliro Antwi – Virunga National Park rangers, Democratic Republic of the Congo

More About the 2019 Recipients

  • Chief Inspector Martin Sims – National Wildlife Crime Unit, United Kingdom
  • Ritesh Sarothiya – Madhya Pradesh State Forest Service, India
  • Sun Lei – Beijing Forest Polic, China
  • Rony Malka – Israel Nature and Parks Authority, Israel
  • Sanjay Dutta – Belaboba Range, Jalpaiguri District, India
  • Emily Stephen Kisamo (Mr.) – Tanzania National Parks/Lusaka Agreement Task Force, Tanzania (posthumous)
  • The Honorable Judi Wangalwa Wakhungu – Ministry of the Environment & Natural Resources, Kenya
  • Gibson Mandaza – Deputy Chief Magistrate, Zimbabwe
  • Wildlife Crime Pillar of the Central Investigation Bureau – Nepal Police, Nepal
  • Richard Bonham – Big Life Foundation, Kenya
  • The Anti-Smuggling Bureau of General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China – China
  • Dieudonné Agoyo Mbikoyo, Jean-Marie Abolo Kpionyeslinani, Lieutenant Moise Ekumu Mospada, Sergeant Kamale Musubao, Captain Anselme Muhindo Kimbesa, Colonel Jacques Lusengo Sukamate, André Migifuloyo Gada, Corporal Djuma Uweko Adalo, Rigobert Anigobe Bagale, Richard Sungudikpio Ndingba, and Dieudonné Tsago Matikuli – Congolese Institute for Nature Conservation and Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo (posthumous)

More About the 2016 Recipients

  • Marco Fiori – Corpo Forestale dello Stato, Italy
  • David Higgins – Interpol Environmental Crime Programme, United Kingdom
  • Jiangmen Customs District Office – China
  • Kiattipong Khaosamang – Royal Thai Police, Thailand
  • Samsundar Ramdeen – Wildlife Section of the Forestry Division, Trinidad & Tobago
  • Dr. Karmele Llano Sánchez – International Animal Rescue, Indonesia
  • Uttarakhand Forestry and Police Departments – India
  • Bonnie Yates – US Fish and Wildlife Service, US
  • Florence Hadia Abae, Mohamed Osman Abdi, Haron Kipyegon Langa, Gabriel Mghalu Malemba, Bernark Mwakio, Seneu Ole Narankaik, Daniel Njagi, Francis Otieno Ochieng; Dismas Kimtai, Adan Sheikh Mohamed, Koyati Parsaip; Bake Alio Adan; Moses Lelesit – Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya (posthumous)
  • Idriss Adoum, Daoud Aldjouma, Hassan Djibrine, Djibrine Adoum Goudja, Zakaria Ibrahim, Brahim Khamis – Ministère de l'Environnement et de la Pêche, Chad (posthumous)

More About the 2013 Recipients

  • Bill Clark – Israel Nature & Parks Authority, Israel
  • Nitin Desai – Wildlife Protection Society of India, India
  • Operation Central (individual sculptures provided to FWS and to Robert Anderson, Colin Black, and Linda McMahan) – US Fish and Wildlife Service/Office of Law Enforcement; US Department of Justice, United States
  • Muga Joel Got – Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya (posthumous)
  • Anti-smuggling Bureau of Guangzhou Customs – China
  • Li Huadong – Shenyang Forestry Policy Bureau, China
  • John Laigwanani – Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya
  • Andrew McWilliam – National Wildlife Crime Unit, United Kingdom
  • Birgith Sloth – Nature Conservation, Denmark
  • Wildlife Crime Control Bureau – Ministry of Environment & Forests, India
  • Asis Generoso Perez – Tanggol Kalikasan, Philippines

More About the 2010 Recipients

  • Samson Parsimei Ole Sisina – Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya (posthumous)
  • Paul Cerniglia – US Fish and Wildlife Service, United States
  • Rajasthan Police Department – India
  • Yvan Lafleur – Canadian Wildlife Service, Canada
  • Last Great Ape Organization – Cameroon
  • John Webb – US Department of Justice, United States
  • Paulin Ngobobo – Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature, Dem Rep Congo
  • Emmanuel Juma Muyengi – Ministry of Natural Resources, Tanzania (posthumous)

More About the 2007 Recipients

  • Frances Lesilau – Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya
  • Clement L. P. Mwale – Zambia National Parks & Wildlife, Zambia
  • Dr. Diwakar Sharma – India
  • Jytte Ekdahl – Interpol Working Group on Wildlife Crime, Denmark
  • Chung-Shing Lee – Taiwan Wildlife Protection Unit, Taiwan
  • Adan Ware Dullo – Lusaka Agreement Task Force
  • Soumen Biswas – North-Eastern Society for Preservation of Nature and Wildlife, India
  • Sanjay Deb Roy – State of Assam Forestry Division, India
  • Mahamat Abakar – Ministère de l'Environnement et de la Pêche, Chad
  • Park Ranger Mando – Ministère de l'Environnement et de la Pêche, Chad

More About the 2000 Recipients