Previous Wildlife Conservation Speakers - Blank Park Zoo

Previous Wildlife Conservation Speakers

Asia encompasses millions of miles of diverse and unique landscapes. From rain forests to deserts, it is home to some of the world’s most iconic species, but these species are under threat in this rapidly changing world.

During the 2014 Conservation Speaker Series we heard about what is being done to protect three of these majestic animals: the Red Panda, the Tiger and the Snow Leopard.



Nancy Whelan

Nancy is a member of the Board of Directors for Red Panda Network. In 2013, she created the Red Panda Network Art Contest, inviting kids around the world to pick up their paintbrushes and answer the question: “Why should we save red pandas?” She will share with us the mission of the Red Panda Network, working to save this rare and beautiful animal through education and empowering local communities.



Dr. Jonathan Slaght

Dr. Slaght has been involved in Amur (or Siberian) tiger conservation in Russia since 2002. Dr. Slaght serves as a Project Manager for the WCS Russia Program and presently manages a research project measuring the impact of road closures on poacher access and tiger prey numbers. He is also working to improve the scientific quality of range-wide tiger surveys to derive more reliable estimates of tigers remaining in the wild.




Peter Zahler

Peter has over 30 years of experience in wildlife conservation with over 50 publications, and has worked in such locations as Afghanistan, Alaska, Iran, Mongolia, Peru, and Venezuela. He will share with us his work in Afghanistan and Pakistan, focused on snow leopards, markhor, Marco Polo sheep and others, including governance building at the tribal level on wildlife conservation management and protected area creation. He will also talk about the illegal wildlife trade, including working with the US military (both at home and abroad) to identify and cease the purchasing of illegal wildlife products.




With the Zoo’s exhibit – Jamaa Kwa ‘Connection to’ Africa – opening in 2013, each evening featured a speaker focused on the conservation of a majestic African animal.  Below you can information about each speaker and links to the causes that they support.


John Lukas
Active in international conservation, John Lukas is the president of White Oak Conservation Center, Inc. which raises funds for conservation projects, including a project in the rain forest of the Democratic Republic of Congo. This project protects the wild population of okapi by supporting rangers and assisting local communities.  -




Dr. Amy Dickman
Dr. Dickman is the Kaplan Senior Research Fellow in Felid Conservation at Oxford University, and has over 15 years of experience working on large carnivores in Africa, specializing in big cats. In 2011, she was awarded the Rabinowitz-Kaplan Prize for the Next Generation in Wild Cat Conservation.  -




Bill Konstant
Bill Konstant is the Program Officer for the International Rhino Foundation and has held positions with the World Wildlife Fund, Wildlife Preservation Trust International and Conservation International, and has helped establish endangered species conservation programs at the Philadelphia Zoo and Houston Zoo.  -


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