The Indianapolis Prize is an award given every other year to an individual who has made significant strides in conservation efforts involving an animal species or multiple animal species. It is frequently referred to as the world's leading award for animal conservation by members of the professional wildlife conservation community.
The unrestricted cash award given to the Prize winner was $100,000 from 2006 through 2012, but has been increased to $250,000 for 2014 and subsequent years. Additionally, five other finalists each receive a $10,000 unrestricted cash award. The Prize was established by the Indianapolis Zoo to recognize and reward individuals who have achieved significant successes in the conservation of animal species.
The Indianapolis Prize winner and finalists are selected by a two-stage process involving a nominating committee and jury. Many renowned conservationists and scientists have served on the nominating committee and jury, including E.O. Wilson, John Terborgh, Peter Raven, Stuart Pimm, Mark Stanley Price, and others.
The Indianapolis Prize is one part of a broad-based conservation initiative being undertaken by the Indianapolis Zoo. The Eli Lilly and Company Foundation has pledged the startup funding for the Indianapolis Prize, and in addition to the $250,000 award the winner also receives the Lilly Medal.
The obverse of the Lilly Medal features a shepherd surrounded by nature and the rising sun. On the reverse is inscribed a quote from naturalist John Muir, "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe."
- 2006: George W. Archibald
- 2008: George B. Schaller
- 2010: Iain Douglas-Hamilton
- 2012: Steven Amstrup
- "Lilly Medal Awarded Prize Winners". Indianapolis Zoological Society. Retrieved 2009-11-14.
- "The 2006 Indianapolis Prize Award Recipient" Indianapolis Zoo
- Bergquist, Lee (22 August 2006) "Crane conservationist to receive $100,000 prize" Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Wisconsin), page B-1
- "The 2008 Indianapolis Prize Award Recipient" Indianapolis Zoo
- Davenport, Paula M. "Bears on the Brink". University of Idaho. Retrieved 24 October 2012.