Rony Malka, director of law enforcement for the Israel Nature and Parks Authority (INPA) and head of its Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Management Authority, received a 2016 Clark R. Bavin Wildlife Law Enforcement Award at the 17th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora in Johannesburg, South Africa.

He was recognized for numerous accomplishments during his 40-year career to protect wildlife and improve wildlife law enforcement efforts in Israel.

Twelve wildlife law-enforcement champions from nine countries were presented with the award on October 3 by the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) based in Washington, DC.

Since 1997, 96 individuals and/or agencies from 30 countries have received the Clark R. Bavin Wildlife Law Enforcement Award, named after the late chief of the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Office of Law Enforcement.

Malka worked as an INPA ranger, nature reserve manager and regional director prior to 1998, when he was appointed to his current position. He obtained a law degree to improve his abilities to combat wildlife crime.

INPA Director of Law Enforcement Rony Malka. Photo courtesy of AWI
INPA Director of Law Enforcement Rony Malka. Photo courtesy of AWI

During his career he reestablished populations of white oryx and onagers; campaigned to create the Marine Peace Park in the Gulf of Aqaba; developed a new enforcement regime to include the regulation of wildlife trade; enhanced cooperation among Israel’s law-enforcement agencies; led the promulgation of regulations to prohibit private possession of primates, raptors and carnivores and prohibit falconry and animal use in circuses; contributed to INPA’s effort to help the Kenya Wildlife Service establish a wildlife forensics laboratory; helped create Interpol’s Wildlife Crime Working Group; and engaged in capacity-building work around the world.

He is currently promoting new regulations to designate all CITES-listed species as protected under Israeli law, including amphibians, reptiles, cetaceans, felids, sharks, rays, and other species.

“Through stellar efforts to combat wildlife crime,” stated AWI President Cathy Liss, “these award recipients have demonstrated a dedication to wildlife protection, which should be an example to all who cherish the biodiversity on this planet and who are committed to justice against wildlife criminals who illegally capture and kill wildlife out of greed and callousness.”