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June 2018

Vol. 46, No. 3

State Coastal Waterbird Expert Receives Mass Audubon’s Inaugural Wildlife Conservation Award at Annual Birders Meeting

Mass Audubon


Carolyn Mostello with Roseate Tern at Buzzards Bay. Photographs by Mass Audubon/Margo Servison.

LINCOLN, MA—Mass Audubon's Birders Meeting, which took place Sunday, March 11, 2018, at UMass Boston, featured the inaugural presentation of its Hemenway + Hall  Wildlife Conservation Award.

This new award recognizes an individual for success in the preservation, enhancement, and restoration of a New England species and/or their habitat, as well as an enthusiasm for sharing information about their efforts and a commitment to inspiring future generations of conservation professionals.

The awardee was Carolyn Mostello, a coastal waterbird specialist for the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife), who has devoted her career to restoring populations of federally endangered Roseate Terns and other island nesting species in Buzzards Bay.

Mostello holds an M.S. in Zoology (specialization in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology) from the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa and a bachelor's degree in Biology from the State University of New York at Binghamton.


Carolyn holding the inaugural Hemenway + Hall Wildlife Conservation Award with Mass Audubon President Gary Clayton.

The new award is named for Mass Audubon's founders, Boston cousins Harriet Hemenway and Minna Hall, who in 1896 began a campaign to stop the commercial killing of egrets and other birds whose feathers were used to adorn fashionable hats of the era.

The intrepid efforts of Hemenway and Hall not only resulted in the birth of the Massachusetts Audubon Society (the wellspring of the national Audubon movement), but inspired a national initiative that prompted federal legislation ending the large-scale hunting and helped protect multiple bird species.

Mass Audubon President Gary Clayton, who presented the award, noted that Mostello's important efforts on behalf of coastal waterbirds align with the legacy of the organization's founding mothers.

"Carolyn personifies excellence in wildlife conservation every day as she demonstrates her commitment to the biodiversity of the Bay State," Clayton said. "She has not only shown success in protecting endangered and threatened bird species, but has served as an inspirational role model for others to take up this crucial work. Thus she is a perfect choice to be the first honoree of the Hemenway + Hall Wildlife Conservation Award.


Mass Audubon protects nearly 38,000 acres of land throughout Massachusetts, saving birds and other wildlife, and making nature accessible to all. As Massachusetts' largest nature conservation nonprofit, we welcome more than a half million visitors a year to our wildlife sanctuaries and 20 nature centers. From inspiring hilltop views to breathtaking coastal landscapes, serene woods, and working farms, we believe in protecting our state's natural treasures for wildlife and for all people–a vision shared in 1896 by our founders, two extraordinary Boston women. Today, Mass Audubon is a nationally recognized environmental education leader, offering thousands of camp, school, and adult programs that get over 225,000 kids and adults outdoors every year. With more than 125,000 members and supporters, we advocate on Beacon Hill and beyond, and conduct conservation research to preserve the natural heritage of our beautiful state for today's and future generations. We welcome you to explore a nearby sanctuary, find inspiration, and get involved. Learn how at massaudubon.org.


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