A Pioneering Conservationist for the Falkland Islands (Malvinas)

A Tribute to Ian John Strange (20 July 1934–30 September 2018)

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Black-browed albatross colony in the Falkland Isands (Malvinas). Photo by Graham Harris/WCS.

‘One issue he has faced several times is whether to make public the whereabouts of islands he has discovered that are so pristine that the birds have no fear of humans. In these places he has been able to walk among the wildlife and have birds hop on his boots and caracaras steal lunch from his hands.” — The New York Times, July 9, 1991

he Wildlife Conservation Society pays tribute to Ian John Strange, a great conservationist of the Falkland Islands (Malvinas), who will be remembered for his unrelenting passion to inspire awe and an understanding for the land, sea, and wildlife of this unique environment.

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Ian John Strange at work. Photo courtesy the Estate of Ian Strange.

Ian’s attention to natural history and detail provided insights to distribution, abundance, and the ecology of many species of wildlife that visit, breed, and use the islands. For more than 50 years, Ian made them his home as he worked to ensure the conservation of its wondrous wildlife.

His literature and art brought the hidden wildlife treasures to light for the world and his science will forever inform the preservation of the islands. Ian published extensively about the birds of New Island, and authored research papers with WCS associate researchers P. Dee Boersma, Juan Masello, and Andrea Raya Rey, among others.

Much of his research was conducted by himself or, more recently, with his daughter Georgina; some of this work was on the wildlife of Grand and Steeple Jason islands.

Ian made the first photographic surveys of the albatrosses on Grand and Steeple Jason, the earliest in 1986, an extraordinarily valuable contribution to the world’s understanding of the population of these birds on the Jasons.

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Ian John Strange. Photo ©Georgina Strange.

Ian’s Field Guide to the Wildlife of the Falkland Islands and South Georgia will remain a significant contribution to the general understanding of the wildlife on the islands as a whole.

It is with sadness but also the greatest respect and admiration that we recognize his passing. We extend our deepest condolences to his family.

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WCS saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature.

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