Deceased Founding Board Members

Founding Director, Baron Bertrand des Clers, M.Sc. (France)

 

Retired Executive Director of the International Foundation for the Conservation of Wildlife (IGF), founder of the European Bureau for Conservation and Development (EBCD), past Chairman of Tropical Game Commission of CIC, Member Emeritus of IUCN Species Survival Commission, Life Member of Fauna and Flora International, Cofounder of the two International Professional Hunters Associations (IPHA and ACP), Founder and past Chairman of the IUCN/SSC Ethnozoology Specialist Group (ETZ/SSC), past GAMECOIN Vice-President for Europe, Member of the Hunting Hall of Fame Foundation. Bertrand operated Conservation Force's Paris office across from the Louvre until his death in 2006. 

 

10/06/2006 - Conservation Leader Bertrand des Clers Dies

Baron Bertrand des Clers died suddenly and without any known illness of an apparent heart attack at his Paris home on the night of October 6, 2006. He was 77 years old. Bertrand was a founding Board Member of Conservation Force, served on the Board for nearly ten years and in recent years maintained CF’s Paris office in his home across from the Louvre housing the Mona Lisa.

No individual in the world did more for tourist hunting than Bertrand. He was truly in a league of his own for nearly 50 years. He was the principle author of CITES Resolution 2.11, which is the whole basis permitting the export and import of hunting trophies of all appendix 1 species such as elephants, leopard, markhor, crocodile, etc. But for Bertrand they would be treated as “commercial” trade which, of course, is prohibited. Bertrand was the Chief Executive Officer of the International Foundation for the Conservation of Wildlife (IGF) for more than two decades under HIH Prince Abdorezza, who was perhaps the greatest hunter of all time. He was the CEO of the International Council of Wildlife and Game Conservation (CIC), co-founder of the International Professional Hunters Association (IPHA), the French Professional Hunters Association, and served on the African Lion Working Group, Antelope Specialist Group, Trade Specialist Group and much more. He was a MEMBER EMERITUS of IUCN in recognition of his extraordinary services. The World Conservation Union recognized him as an icon of the conservation world. The IUCN is the largest and most influential conservation organization in the world. Just this year he was the second recipient of the Peter Capstick Conservation Award presented at Dallas Safari Club for his unsurpassed contributions to the hunting and conservation world.

There is no doubt whatsoever that his daily input helped distinguish Conservation Force and helped forge what we are. Over a period of two decades Bertrand became my dearest friend and confidant in all Conservation Force matters. He was never too busy to help or advise, and his counsel was as sound and even brilliant as any from any other source in this world. He was a charming man with a twinkle in his blue eyes, enthusiasm for life and an incomparable record of unwavering devotion to the hunting world and way of life.

It was the express wish of HIH Prince Abdorezza before his death that Bertrand be replaced on the Conservation Force Board of Directors by Philippe Chardonnet. That was also the wish of Bertrand himself. Philippe is a Ph. D. veterinarian and replaced Bertrand as the Executive Director of the International Foundation for the Conservation of Wildlife (IGF) in Paris, France. I serve on the Board of that foundation, which has projects in twenty-five African countries and others in every corner of the world. Philippe is the Co-Chair of the Antelope Specialists Group of IUCN and the author of the now-famous Chardonnet Lion Study on the African lion that played a crucial role in deflating the Kenya proposal to uplist all African lion to Appendix 1 of CITES. Philippe and I serve on the African Lion Working Group together and attended both African Lion Workshops. Philippe was groomed for years by Bertrand to head the foundation in Paris and would bring a lot of fresh skills to Conservation Force. Subject to Board approval, Philippe Chardonnet will replace Baron Bertrand des Clers on the Conservation Force Board. We intend to insure that Conservation Force continue as Bertrand would advise. Conservation Force is a monument to him. He was our most active soldier and worker. He died two nights before the London workshops and the opening statement of the program paid tribute to him.

 

From Species 46 July - December 2006 IUCN Newsletter:

Baron Bertrand des Clers 
Bertrand des Clers, a member of IUCN for more than 30 years and ‘Member Emeritus’ of the Species Survival Commission left us on October 9. As Director of the International Foundation for the Conservation of Game
(IGF) since its inauguration in 1976, until his retirement in 2001, he was very well placed to advocate sustainable use of wildlife as a conservation technique and as a means to reconcile the imperatives of
development with the necessities of conservation Although he trained as an aeronautical engineer at the University Johns Hopkins of Baltimore in the USA, Bertrand des Clers devoted most of his professional life to the conservation of wild fauna.
A member of IUCN for more than 30 years, he was ‘Member Emeritus’ of the Species Survival Commission. He had been a member of several IUCN Commissions, the World Commission on Protected Areas, the Commission on Environmental Law and the Survival Species Commission. He was also Chairman of the IUCN/SSC Ethnozoology Specialist Group, at one time. In 1976, HIH Prince Abdorreza of Iran asked him to take over the responsibility for developing the International Foundation for the Conservation of Game (IGF), an organization the Prince was establishing. Bertrand des Clers served as Director of IGF until his retirement in 2001. In this capacity, he carried out a wide range of wildlife conservation projects around the world, e.g.:

 

  • Creation of two new protected areas in the

  • Mongolian People’s Republic

  • Reintroduction of the wood bison in Canada

  • Conservation of the forest reindeer in Finland

  • Elephant anti-poaching in the Central African Republic

  • Black rhino rescue in Zimbabwe

  • Reintroduction of the dama gazelle in Morocco and of the scimitar-horned oryx in Tunisia

  • Promotion of community-based natural resource management programmes (CBNRM) in Southern Africa.
     

He had been very involved in the drafting of several international conventions in the domain of environment: the CMS, CITES and CBD.  An enthusiastic naturalist and wise hunter since his youth, he was very well placed to advocate sustainable use of wildlife as a conservation technique and as a means to reconcile the imperatives of development with the necessities of conservation.

Among his many credits, he served as:

 

  • Director of the International Foundation for the Conservation of Wildlife from 1976 to 2001

  • Assistant Admin-istrator General of the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC) and Chairman of the CIC Tropical Game Commission

  • Vice-President for Europe of Game Conservation International

  • Vice-President of the International Union of Game Biologists (IUGB)

  • Founder of the European Bureau for Conservation and Development (EBCD)

  • Member of Honour of the Board Meeting of the International Association of Professional Hunters (IPHA).
     

The work of Bertrand des Clers may best be summed up in his own words: “In our modern society, man’s domination over
nature is overwhelming. The industrialized nations are destroying the remaining outposts of unspoilt nature while developing countries turn all available land over to crop or pasture in their efforts to increase food production and cash returns to ensure the livelihood of their growing populations. Mankind, ignorant of ecological interdependencies
of which scientists are only now beginning to appreciate the complexity, has selected vegetable and animal species which could easily be domesticated, in the process, wild species, considered to be either valueless or harmful, were sacrificed…”
Philippe Chardonnet, Co-Chair IUCN SSC Antelope
Specialist Group

Founding Director, Jim Teer, Ph.D. (Texas)
 

Retired Chairman of Texas A&M's Department of Wildlife & Fisheries; Retired Executive Director of Welder Wildlife Foundation; Past Chair of the North American IUCN Sustainable Use Specialist Group of the Species Survival Commission; served on the Steering Committee of the Texas Think Tank Committee; Past President of The Wildlife Society (11,000 members); was bestowed the Aldo Leopold Memorial Award which is the highest honor of The Wildlife Society, and the SCI Conservationist of the Year Award, which is its highest conservation award. Was inducted into Texas Department of Wildlife and Parks Hall of Fame in 2008. Has authored over 100 scientific papers. Did the famous USF&WS leopard study in Africa that led to its downlisting as well as the the most comprehensive range-wide study of jaguar completed to date. Professor Emeritus at Texas A&M University, etc.

Founding Director, Bart O'Gara, Ph.D. (Montana)
 

Dr. Bart O'Gara passed away on May 21, 2003. Bart was a Founding Board Member of Conservation Force and an inspiration to all who worked with him. Bart was a Wildlife Professor Emeritus at the University of Montana where he received his Ph.D. in Zoology in 1968. He had an office at the University where I have communicated with him regularly over the past twelve years and daily over the past seven years. As well as serving Conservation Force directly, he was one of the interveners in the Argali suit in the Federal District Court of Washington, D.C., that Conservation Force successfully concluded.

 

Bart gave his life to public service. He first served his nation as an enlisted man in the U.S. Navy. He retired from the Navy after twenty years of service and began his undergraduate studies at Montana State University. Upon graduation he became a research wildlife biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as Assistant Leader of the Montana Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit until he was promoted to the Leader of that Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit. He held the Leader position for twelve years, before retiring from the Extension Service with twenty-five years of Service. He was a respected teacher, prolific author and consummate big game hunter.

 

In the year before his death he finished the definitive work on Pronghorn Antelope and completed three chapters in North American Elk, Ecology and Management, Chapter 1, Taxonomy, Chapter 2, Distribution: Past and Present and Chapter 16, Hunting Red Deer and Elk: Old and New Worlds. He also completed a book on his own hunting adventures entitled Seventy-Five Years Afield, Safari Press.

 

Bart was an expert on Management of Big Game in Developing Countries. His Awards, fellowships, grants, work in foreign countries, and publications are not comparable. Bart was recognized as the Conservationist of the Year by SCI and many other honors. He conducted the Wildlife and Conservation and Management Training Program for Pakistan in 1985-86 that is the foundation of their world renown Markhor conservation success today. He was the expert in SCI's Argali suit against the USF&WS in 1993 who did a phenomenal critical analysis of the Argali Rule and "special" trophy import regulations. He even assisted in the early stages of the British Columbia Grizzly fight in the middle 1990s.

Conservation Force deeply regrets this irreplaceable loss. There will never be another Bart O'Gara. We are fortunate to have truly great men on Conservation Force's Board, but upon the passing of one who contributed so very much, we also know the measure of truly great loss. Thank you Bart for everything!

 

Founding Director, Don Lindsay (Republic of South Africa)

Past President of International Professional Hunters Association (IPHA), Past Board Member of PHASA and SCI. Recognized spokesman about sustainable use and the role that hunting can play.