Welcome New Patron; Dr Munir Z. Virani
Himalayan Nature welcomes Dr Munir Z. Virani as our new Patron. Dr Virani has over twenty-five years of experience in conservation project design, execution, management and dissemination. He has conducted extensive research on birds of prey in Kenya specifically focusing on threatened and endangered species. His research interests lie in finding effective and pragmatic solutions for conservation problems and developing holistic conservation plans. In 2000, he was sent to South Asia by The Peregrine Fund to evaluate the magnitude of catastrophic population declines of three species of critically endangered Gyps Vultures. Where he set up teams of field and diagnostic research in Nepal, India and Pakistan that eventually led to the discovery of diclofenac, the veterinary pharmaceutical drug that was the primary cause of vulture population declines in the region. Dr Virani has more than 15 years of experience working in the Masai Mara and Kenya’s southern Rift Valley landscape on birds of prey, with government, local communities and other conservation partners. In 2002, he was awarded the Aga Khan Foundation award for excellence in the field of Science and Technology by His Highness Prince Amyn Mohamed Aga Khan. He has published over 150 scientific and popular articles including a paper in the esteemed journal Nature. Dr Virani supervised over 25 students for graduate degrees. Dr Virani is also an excellent photographer, in 2007, he was awarded a prestigious prize for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year in a competition organized by Twende Travel Magazine. He is an accomplished speaker having been invited as a Keynote speaker at a number of International Conferences. He has also spoken on the TED.com platform: http://www.ted.com/talks/munir_virani_why_i_love_vultures.html that has generated nearly one million views. Dr Virani is an avid storyteller recently worked on a Maasai conservation film called Empty Skies and a book about raptors worldwide. In 2017, he directed a film on African Fish Eagles of Lake Naivasha that won the semifinalist position at the Green Earth Film Festival in 2017. In April 2018, he was awarded the Whitley Award for Conservation by Her Royal Highness Princess Ann for my work on Vulture Conservation in Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve. This award is considered the Green Oscars for Conservation. He is also an avid athlete having represented Kenya in cricket. Currently, Dr Virani works at The Peregrine Fund as a Vice President and Global Director for Conservation Strategy and External Affairs.
We hope Himalayan Nature will be highly benefitted from his support.