30 Oct 2011

Conservation pioneer award to recognise Don Merton

11:56 am on 30 October 2011

Conservationist Don Merton is to be honoured with a biennial award in his name.

Dr Merton died in April at the age of 72.

Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson says his work with the South Island saddleback, the black robin and the kakapo has been recognised around the world as an exceptional example of conservation.

She says Dr Merton virtually saved the black robin from extinction.

The Don Merton Conservation Pioneer Award will include a financial grant to a researcher aged 30 or under so they can get hands on experience in conservation.

It will be awarded once every two years at the Australasian Parks Forum.

Ms Wilkinson says she thinks an award in Dr Merton's name is a fitting tribute to honour him.