Future For Nature, meet the winner of 2023 from Ukraine

Each year, the Future For Nature Foundation recognises three young, driven nature conservationists from around the world. These wildlife heroes are making a real difference for their species or ecosystem. Application for 2024 is open!

Meet the winner from Ukraine

Alona Prylutska (33 years old) is a Ukrainian conservationist, co-founder of the Ukrainian Bat Rehabilitation Centerr, dedicated to the rehabilitation of microbats in an urban environment. She rescues bats trapped in buildings, helps bust bat-myths and works towards creating safe-spaces for bats in the cities.  https://futurefornature.org/ffn_winner/alona-prylutska/

Future for Nature 2023 winner
Photo credits: Future For Nature

Alona believes that changing people’s attitudes towards bats is key to their long-term survival. A combination of rehabilitation, widespread education, and bat-friendly city planning will help protect bat populations and create a safe bat habitat in an urban environment.

Ukrainian Bat Rehabilitation Center
Ukrainian Bat Rehabilitation Center - activities

Alona has been fascinated with bats since her first year at university. Due to urbanisation and climate change, some bat species have started to use buildings as their home. However, this makes them at risk for being trapped or disturbed, or even killed in case of renovation or isolation work. Additionally, there is a deep-rooted fear of bats in Ukraine, working against their conservation. Alona started her conservation path by saving bats found in the city or trapped in buildings, and nursed them back to health in her own home. During the winter, bats were kept in her refrigerator since bats need cold to hibernate. Alona founded the Ukrainian Bat Rehabilitation Center, the only one in the country which also serves as the biggest facility for bat research in Eastern Europe. They now take in bats from all over Ukraine and have saved more than 21,000 bats of 13 species in total.

Ukrainian bat rehabilitation Centre activities
Ukrainian bat rehabilitation Centre activities

With her team, Alona organised an advocacy campaign to explain to people how they can coexist with bats. They have given many lectures and interviews, and published a great number of materials. Annually, they organise the famous Bat Release Fest where they let the public help release hundreds of rescued bats back into the wild, further improving the relationship between bats and people.

Bats in destroyed buildings in Kharkiv Ukraine
Bats in destroyed buildings in Kharkiv Ukraine

Despite the dire circumstances in Ukraine, Alona and her team have persevered and continued their important bat conservation work. They have rescued many migrating bats from abandoned buildings and organise outreach activities. Watch the video of the activities of the Centre 2022-2023 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mG0_qGUl7Rg

Future for Nature apply now
Future for Nature 2024 apply now

Are you the Future For Nature?

The foundation is looking for young, passionate conservationists with unlimited dedication and willpower to protect wild species. Apply now to win the #FFNAwards2024, €50,000 and join the growing FFN Family!

Do you know anyone who would deserve to win this prize?
The FFN Award application criteria are as follows, the candidate:
Must be born on or after the 31st May 1988 (Maximum age of 35 years old at the FFN Award event) and before the 28th of August 2005 (minimum age of 18 years old at the time of submitting your application.
Has achieved substantial and long term benefit to the conservation status of one or more wild species.
Has demonstrated commitment, determination, and passion for  conservation work.
Has demonstrated leadership, entrepreneurship, and a clear view on conservation work.
Has been creative and innovative in his/her work.
Has demonstrated to be honourable in the conservation work performed.
Must be determined to continue his/her conservation work, as the Award aims to stimulate the winner’s future work. It is not an “end of career” prize.
Is able to explain his/her conservation work in proficient English (written and spoken).

If the candidate matches all criteria, they can apply on our website https://futurefornature.org/apply/

They will need to fill in the application form, which asks for general information, two references, and short descriptions of the candidate’s achievements, conservation vision and the added value of the
FFN Award.
The applications for the Future For Nature Awards 2024 are open from 22
nd June until 25 th August 2023. Applications received after the deadline will not be reviewed.

Apply now at https://futurefornature.org/apply/