CINCINNATI – The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is pleased to announce the 2015 speakers for the annual Barrows Conservation Lecture Series. The prestigious lecture series will feature an exciting lineup of internationally acclaimed scientists, explorers and conservationists. Since 1993, the series has brought a slate of esteemed naturalists and scientists to Cincinnati to address wildlife issues and global conservation efforts. Opening the Series on Wednesday, April 1, at 7 p.m., is Tito McNutt, who will present, “Good dogs and bad dogs: Challenges of wildlife conservation in developing Africa.” John McNutt, known as Tico McNutt, started the Wild Dog Research Project in 1989; his research in that field has been supported in part by the National Geographic Society. He received a doctorate in animal behavior from the University of California in 1995. At the time he founded the Botswana Wild Dog Research Project little was known about the biology of the African wild dog, though it was believed to be one of the most endangered canine species. Since then, Tico has followed many wild dog packs in Botswana’s Okavango Delta, eventually expanding his studies to include all major predators in the region. On Wednesday, April 15, starting at 7 p.m., Pratik Patel will present, “Understanding Blood Ivory.” Patel, Founder and Chairman of the The African Wildlife Trust (AWT) is a third generation Tanzanian. He grew up running around the Serengeti Plains with Grub, Jane Goodall’s son. He received a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Dar es Salaam and completed his Honors cum laude at the American College of London. Pratik and his family have been directly affected by the poaching crisis, as 60 or more elephants per day are being killed for their ivory. At this rate elephants in Tanzania will be extinct in 5 years and all of Africa in 8-10 years. The African Wildlife Trust (AWT) was founded and developed out of Pratik’s love for the African elephant and his strong desire to try and save them. On Wednesday, April 29, at 7 p.m., Rebecca Klein will present, “Cheetah Conservation Botswana – partnering with communities to reduce human carnivore conflict and conserve cheetahs in the Kalahari region of Botswana.” Klein is the Founder and Executive Director of CCB. She became interested in starting up a cheetah program when she moved to Botswana in 2001 to work at Mokolodi Nature Reserve. Upon discovering that there was no conservation going on for the species, she decided to initiate a program and the organization came into being in 2003. She has a Masters in Conservation from Rhodes University in South Africa and Bachelors in Wildlife Biology from Leeds University in the UK. Her conservation focus is in developing solutions to reduce human wildlife conflict challenges and enable the coexistence of people and wildlife. On Wednesday, May 6, beginning at 7 p.m., Sven-Olof Lindblad will present, “Exploration, Conservation, Education and Wonder in the 21st Century.” Sven-Olof Lindblad is Founder and President of Lindblad Expeditions. Lindblad’s early exposure to nature and wildlife taught him the importance of maintaining natural resources and understanding the cultural background of remote regions of the world. In 2004, Lindblad formed a multifaceted strategic alliance with National Geographic that combines the strengths of two pioneers in exploration and travel, with the goal of further inspiring the world through expedition travel. Lindblad’s personal experience led to the company’s long-standing commitment to environmentally responsible travel, which has resulted in numerous travel and environmental awards. All Barrows Conservation Lectures will be held in the Cincinnati Zoo’s Frisch’s Theater in the Harold C. Schott Education Center. Attendees are advised to park in the Education Center lot. All lectures begin promptly at 7:00 p.m. The Barrows Conservation Lecture Series is made possible by the ongoing support of the family of Winifred & Emil Barrows.