This prestigious award by the president of the SAHGCA is given to individuals, branches or organizations that make a meaningful contribution to the conservation of the country’s biodiversity or survival of wildlife in South Africa.
Prof Bothma, who is regarded as the undisputed doyen of game ranch management in South Africa, has written numerous articles about various species and different aspects of game ranch management, published regularly in the popular magazine, SA Hunter (SA Jagter). He is internationally known as chief editor of the renowned work, Game Ranch Management (Wildplaasbestuur) that saw its seventh edition in 2010.
Prof Bothma is also acknowledged internationally as expert on the leopard. His research in the Kalahari over a period of more than 30 years, as well as numerous scientific publications about the leopard’s ecology, attests to this.
He obtained a doctorate in Wildlife Sciences at the Texas A&M University in the USA in 1969. In 1970 he became the first recipient of the postgraduate Eugène Marais chair in Wildlife Management at UP. He was also the first Director of the Centre for Wildlife Management at UP, responsible for the training of the largest number of professional wildlife managers in South Africa.
Prof Bothma also received other prestigious awards including the Senior Captain Scott Memorial Award of the South African Academy for Science and Arts (Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns) for outstanding biological training and research in South Africa, the Chairman’s award for Wildlife textbooks of the Transvaal Wildvereniging as well as the Tuks Alumni Laureate Award for his outstanding contribution to the field of biological and scientific research.