Prof. Reuven Yosef (Israel)

Vasundhara Sanman

Birds migrating over the Middle East and Mediterranean area only had a few ‘rest stops’, until Professor Reuven Yosef (Director of the International Birding and Research Centre in Eilat) got involved. Yosef was born in Pune and immigrated to Israel in 1974. In 1994, he acquired a 64-hectare strip of wasteland garbage dump and transformed it into an ornithological paradise. For this project, he was awarded the “Visionary of Israel Conservation Award” the highest civilian award (equivalent to Bharat Ratna) at the hands of Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres. He has received prestigious awards like the Swarovski – Environment Man of the year, Associate Laureate – Rolex Award, and National Geographic Environmental Education award. His current projects include the Environment Study and Assessments of Habitats, Human-Leopard coexistence in Jhalana, Jaipur, and Bird-Strike and Wildlife Hazard Management at wind farms in Israel and India, and at airports in Israel, Jamaica and UK. He was also a Scientific Advisor to the NASA Space Shuttle Programme at the Kennedy Space Centre, Florida. Additionally, he lectures at Ben Gurion University of Negev and at Arava Institute while continuing his conservation work in Israel, India and Mongolia.