In selecting medal recipients, the following criteria were recommended by the Exhibits Committee and were adopted by the Board of Trustees in August 1971:

1. Individuals who through research and publication have furthered knowledge of the habits and habitats of wildlife. This would include definitive work on individual species, new data on food and breeding characteristics and preservation of habitat. This research should be of significant nature and should have been publicized sufficiently to have had a major impact in furthering the cause of conservation.

2. Individuals who have been active in the preservation of endangered and other species of animals through breeding programs, research, and the establishment of game and wildlife preserves. This would include heads of governmental wildlife departments, administrators of wildlife preserves, zoo directors and zoo staff members.

3. Individuals who have furthered the cause of conservation through continued financial support and through their influence and publicity. This would include those through whose efforts wildlife preserves have been established and endangered species have been protected.

The first gold-filled conservation medals bearing the image of the elephant seal were struck during the Zoological Society of San Diego`s golden anniversary celebration. The first three medals were awarded at an AAZPA conference in San Diego in February, 1966. Another six were awarded at an international conservation conference hosted in San Diego in the fall of this year. Since that time it has been usual to award two each year, one to an international figure and one to a regional figure. Several have been awarded posthumously.

Spring 1966
Capt. Jean Delacour  Director Emeritus, Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History and founder of Cleres Sanctuary, France
Sir Edward Hallstrom  Executive Director, Tarongo Zoo, Sidney, Australia
Fairfield Osborn  President, New York Zoological Society

Fall 1966
Harold J. Coolidge, Ph.D.  President, International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources
Maj. Ian B. Grimwood  Wildlife Adviser for the British Ministry of Overseas Development to the government of Peru
Dr. Boonsong Lekagul Secretary-General, Association for Conservation of Wildlife, Thailand
Perez M. Olindo  Director of National Parks, Kenya
Ian Player  Chief Conservator, Natal Parks Game and Fish Preservation Board, Zululand
Peter M. Scott  Director, Wildfowl Trust, England; Vice President, World Wildlife, Fund; Chairman, Survival Service Commission, IUCN

No awards given

Carl L. Hubbs, Ph.D.  Professor, Scripps Institution; Vice President, Zoological Society of San Diego
George B. Schaller,  Ph.D.  Research Associate, Institute for Research in Animal Behavior, New York Zoological Society and Rockefeller University

Carl W. Kenyon  Biologist, Wildlife Research, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Charles Shaw  Assistant Director and Reptile Curator, San Diego Zoo (posthumously)
Lewis W. Walker  Asst. Director Emeritus, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (Posthumously)

Philip L. Boyd  Founder, Deep Canyon Desert Research Center, Palm Desert, Calif.
Col. Mervyn Cowie  Founder, Kenya National Parks System

Gerald Durrell  Founder & Director, Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust, Jersey, Channel Islands
Mrs. Margaret Owings  Conservationist and Founder, Friends of the Sea Otter

Jane Goodall  Ph.D. Director, Gombe Stream Research Center, Tanzania
Prof. Dr. Heini Hediger Director Emeritus, Zurich Zoo, Switzerland

Prof. Dr. h.c. Bernhard Grzimek  Director Emeritus, Frankfurt Zoo, Germany
Roland Lindemann  Catskill Game Farm

Kenton C. Lint  Curator, San Diego Zoo
Charles R. Schroeder, D.V.M.  Director Emeritus, San Diego Zoo

Prof. Dr. Ernst M. Lang  Director, Basel Zoo, Switzerland
Maurice A. Machris Shikar-Safari Club. Founder, World Herd of Arabian Oryx

1979 (World Conference lll on Breeding Endangered Species in Captivity)
William G. Conway  General Director, New York Zoological Park, Bronx, New York
Ray C. Erickson, Ph.D.  Assistant Director for Endangered Wildlife Research, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, USDI, Patuxent, Maryland
Craig C. McFarland, Ph.D.  Head, Wildlands Management Unit, Turrialba, Costa Rica

Kenhelm W. Stott, Jr.  Author, explorer and General Curator Emeritus of the San Diego Zoo, San Diego, Calif.
Prof. Dr. Heinrich Dathe  Director, Tierpark Berlin, East Germany.

H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh  President, World Wildlife Fund, and patron, Zoological Society of London.

Prof. Dr. Heinz-Georg Klos General director, Zoologischer Garten und Aquarium Berlin, West Germany.

Sir David Attenborough Film maker and British naturalist

Dr. Russell A. Mittermeier, Ph.D.  Conservationist, Primatologist, Director of WWF's Species Conservation Program

Norman Myers, Ph.D.  Oxford, England. Conservationist and author. Consultant in environment and development for such agencies as the Smithsonian, WWF, World Bank and IUCN, Oxford, England.

Dr. Gilbert Grosvenor  President and Chairman of the Board, National Geographic

Michael Werikhe  Rhino conservationist, "The Rhino Man"

Noel F. R. Snyder Ph.D.  Research biologist, Endangered Wildlife Research Program, USFWS, and Director of Parrot Programs, Wildlife Preservation Trust Intl.

Jared Diamond, Ph.D.  Professor of Physiology, UCLA School of Medicine and author of  The Third Chimpanzee

Mark Plotkin Ph.D.  Vice President of Ethnobotany, Conservation International, and author of Tales of a Shaman' sApprentice

Dr. Kurt Benirschke  Founder of CRES, president of the Zoological Society of San Diego, professor emeritus in pathology at UCSD. Author of Primates: the road to self-sustaining populations and One Medicine

Pan Wenshi  Dean, Environmental Biology and Bio-Ecology Department, Beijing, China. Conservationist, biologist and panda researcher
Frank Sturtevant Todd  Executive Director, Eco Cepts International. Ornithologist, former curator of birds at the Los Angeles Zoo, Vice President of Aviculture and Research at Seaworld San Diego, Calif.

David Western Ph.D.  Conservationist, Director of Wildlife Service, Kenya

E.O. Wilson Ph.D. Harvard entomologist and one of the century's foremost naturalists. Author of numerous books: The Ants, Biophilia, Biodiversity, Consilience, The Diversity of Life etc.

George Rabb Ph.D.  Director of Brookfield Zoo, Chicato,Ill. Served seven years as chairman of the IUCN's Species Survival Commission.

Dr. Marilyn Renfree Ph.D.  Chair of Zoology Department, Unversity of Melbourne, Marsupial specialist.
John Aspinall  Founder and Director of Howletts and Port Lympne Wild Animal Parks.

Dr. Peter Raven Ph.D.  Director, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, Missouri.

Dr. Richard Goodwin Ph.D.  Professor Emeritus, Connecticut College; Honorary Trustee, The Nature Conservancy
Dr. Jeremy Mallinson Ph.D.  Professor Emeritus, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Fund.
Dr. Ulysses S. Seal Ph.D.  Chairman, CBSG; Scientist, Minneapolis Minnesota.

Dr. Arnold O. Beckman Ph.D.  Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Beckman Instruments, Inc; Philanthropist.

John and Becky Moores.  San Diego Philantrhopists

Dr. George Archibald.  Co-founder of ICF (International Crane Foundation), Baraboo, WI, U. S. A.