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IOSF Otter Oscar Awards 2020


IOSF is delighted to announce the winners of the IOSF Otter Oscar Awards for 2020!

Once again, we were overwhelmed by the number of nominations received, which made it a tough choice to pick the eventual winners.

That being said, a decision had to be made and after long discussions between the judging panel, we are pleased to announce the following winners:

Young Person Award: Chloe Shanks, England
Chloe brought together her two passions, running and otters, to raise support for otter conservation. Before her 12th birthday, she decided to run a half marathon for IOSF. Her initial target of £250 was eclipsed by the total of £813! Chloe's support went to COBEA's Neotropical otter rehabilitation and helped them build a brand new enclosure for the otters!
Otter Oscar Winnersii

Community Achievement: Kiengkai Khoonsrivong, Lao PDR
Kiengkai attended IOSF's Lao workshop in 2018 and has continued to work for otters ever since. His passion to raise the profile of otters took him to the Bolikhanxai province. There he visited a number of villages to spread the word on otters, gauge human perceptions and start Team Otter clubs across a number of schools within the region.

Group or Organisation: Save Vietnam's Wildlife, Vietnam
Save Vietnam's Wildlife (SVW) continue to work for wildlife across the South East Asian nation, including otters. They are working to increase awareness of species, reduce trade and rescue any individuals that have been "caught up" in the illegal trade. SVW have successfully released a number of otters back to the wild with the aim to release more in time. They also produced a video for social media encouraging people to leave otters in the wild, and where they belong.

Research: Alejandro Valenzuela, Argentina
Alejandro Valenzuela has been working on Southern River Otter conservation since 2005. He has been researching this shy species on a number of aspects such as general ecological research, human interference, conservation actions and much more. He also works on outreach to raise awareness to the species, which is largely under-studied.
Otter Oscar Winnersi

Photography/Artwork: John Reeves-Womble, Scotland
Young John, aged 11, loves wildlife and during restrictions at home ignited this passion further. He spent hours out and about in his local area documenting otters, their behaviours, diet and much more to grow his knowledge. During this time he started a love of photography and his photo, below, is a worthy winner of this award.

Special Award: Diana Limjoco, the Philippines
Diana Limjoco has cared for Asian short-clawed otters in Philippines. She also campaigned successfully to protect the bay from development for a huge tourist project which would have destroyed much of the habitat. Diana is also concerned with the lack of proper care for "orphaned" otters and is working with IOSF and others to establish proper protocols to be used whenever such animals arrive. She is an ambassador for otters across Palawan and her hard work has ensured that habitats remain intact and otters in need receive the appropriate care.

A massive congratulations to all the winners!

Otter in Kylerhea by John Reeves-Womble