Craig Carpenter Downer, Ph.D. c., Presented with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award by Marquis Who’s Who

by | Dec 12, 2019 | Featured Article | 10 comments

Dr. Downer has been endorsed by Marquis Who’s Who as a leader in the conservation industry

MINDEN, NV, September 10, 2018 — Marquis Who’s Who, the world’s premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to present Craig Carpenter Downer, Ph.D. c., with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. An accomplished listee, Craig celebrates many years of experience in his professional network, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes he has accrued in his field. As in all Marquis Who’s Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.

With more than 40 years of professional experience, Craig has been president of the Andean Tapir Fund since 1996. Prior to attaining his current role, he was a research fellow with the Wildlife Conservation Society from 1990 to 1996, managing editor of InterAction for Global Tomorrow Coalition (1987), guide/writer for the film “Wild Horses of the Nevada Desert (1982-1987), Mountain Tapir researcher for Durham University-UK (1988-1993), research services director for Animal Protection Institute (1980-1981). Earlier he served as a wildlife ecologist with the U.S. Peace Corps in Colombia (1977-1979). In addition to his primary positions, he has been an activist, researcher, speechmaker, writer, testifier, litigant, & television/radio guest (1970-2019). He has participated in TV/Radio programs/films in the Andes/US/worldwide including Those Amazing Animals (ABC), Wild Horse & Burro Radio (Los Angeles), Nevada Newsmakers (TV-Reno), Mustang Matters (Radio-Reno), LA-Television & La Luna (both in Quito), Coast-to-Coast AM (2012), National Public Radio programs in Reno-NV, Gallop-NM, Great Falls-MT, SLC-UT, Sacramento-CA, and Los Angeles-CA. He has also been an internet-radio co-host for Big Blend-Tucson.

Craig began his career as a student at the University of California, Berkeley, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in biology and ecology in 1972. He continued his studies at the University of Nevada, completing a Master of Science in biology in 1976. After obtaining some experience in the field, he returned to his education with the University of Kansas, completing Ph.D. studies, and earned candidate status for the Doctor of Philosophy in Biology from Durham University-UK in 1996. He was also an academic, researcher/lecturer, at University College North Wales in Bangor. He directed an M.S. study on Sangay N.P. & its mountain tapirs for Yvonne Guinan, in Ecuador & Wales. He also helped initiate a Ph.D. tapir study in Colombia for Diego Lizcano (U. Kent-UK). He has taught courses in biology (lab, KU-Lawrence), ecology (Universidad Cali-Colombia & CCC-Pomona), & led field courses in Sangay N.P. re: telemetric tracking of tapirs for Catholic Univ.-Quito, where he gave popular illustrated talks as well as at the National Politecnical University-Quito, his affiliate from 1989-2002. He has done extensive field studies of mustangs in U.S.

Some of the many fine publications to his credit (English, Spanish, German & French) include: The Wild Horse Conspiracy (Amazon, 2011, 2014), Wild Horses: Living Symbols of Freedom (Western, 1977), The horse & burro as positively contributing returned natives in North America (AJLS, 2014), Proposal for wild horse/burro reserve design as a solution to present crisis (Natural Horse, 2010), Overgrazing is by humankind (Bull. Theos. Science Study Gp., 1987), Tapirus pinchaque (Mammalian Species, 2010), Status & Action Plan for the Mountain Tapir (IN: Tapirs, IUCN SSC Tapir Spec. Gp., 1997), Observations on the diet & habitat of the mountain tapir (Jour. Zool. London, 2001), Tapirs (IN: Mammals IV, V. 15, Grzimek’s Animal Life Encycl. 2003), The Mountain Tapir, Endangered ‘Flagship’ of the High Andes (Oryx, 1996), Uphill Struggles (BBC Wildlife, 1996), A Paramo Paradise: Colombia’s Las Hermosas National Park (Americas, Org. Amer. States, 1981), Attitudes to tapirs, wilderness and wildlife conservation in & around Sangay N.P., Ecuador (Tapir Conservation, 2003), Cerro Negro: an important mountain tapir conservation area in the Piuran Andes (Tapir Conservation, 2009), Wilderness & the Indian Way of Life (Pyramid Lake Tribal Publ., 1998), Un Caso de Mutualismo en los Andes: Observaciones sobre Dieta-Habitat del Tapir de Montana (IN: Manejo y Conservacion de Fauna Silvestre en America Latina, Proc. Intl. Conf. on Wldf. Mgmt., Santa Cruz, Bolivia, 1997), Un registro de Tapir de Montana…, (Mastozoologia Neotropical, 2009), Agonia of the Mountain Tapir (Rumbos de Sol & Piedra, Lima, 2005), Ambito Hogareno y Utilizacion de Habitat del Tapir Andino e Ingreso de Ganado en el Parque Nacional Sangay, Ecuador (Lyonia, 2003), Der Bergtapir, (IN: Die Tapir, Ferlander Verlag publ., Germany, 2006), Tame or Reclaim? (Sangay N.P.), Landscape Design, U.K., 1996). He has also widely contributed nature photos, e.g. the fine coffee-table book with his forward: Der letzte Mustang by Peter Clotten (Muller Ruschlikon, Stuttgart, 2009).For many years, he has contributed on a variety of subjects to the Reno Gazette Journal, Sacramento Bee, Denver Post, Environmental News Service, The Record Courier, Natural Horse, & Tapir Conservation. In recent years he has been featured in several YouTube/Vimeos concerning wild horses, mountain tapirs & other subjects. He also maintains two websites: &

He has given speeches in English & Spanish at professional as well as public conferences. In 2017 & 2018, he delivered his speech: “The World’s Endangered Species Today Present a Crisis of Conscience for Humanity” to several audiences including: Nevada’s Fort McDermitt tribe, CA4Elephants’ Endangered Species Rally-Sacramento Capitol, & Illinois University-Champaign. He also delivered his PowerPoint “Wild Horses & Burros: Wonderful Restorers” at these & Sparks Museum (11/03/18), Northeastern Nevada Historical Museum-Elko (2/3/17), & ISWMP event, Malibu, CA (11/19/17). He has given major wild horse talks at the University of California-Berkeley (4/20/15), Redwoods University-California (11/17/14), Colorado Mountain College-Steamboat Springs (3/28/13), St. Charles Community College-Missouri (4/26/13), King’s College – London-Ontario (5/13), the Wild Horse Summit-Las Vegas (10/12/2008, standing ovation) & the International Equine Conference (2011 & 2012). He prepared and defended a poster on wild horses at the Ecological Society of Australia’s annual conference in Alice Springs (9/28-10/4/2014) & went on to tour/give interviews at several brumby areas throughout this continent . He has spoken about the Mountain Tapir at the Biodiversity Conference-Cuzco (1996) & in Sullana & Ayabaca, n. Peru, universities in Medellin/Bogota/Cali/Popayan-Colombia, Quito/Cuenca/Loja/Riobamba-Ecuador, Jyvaskyla-Finland (10/2010), Durham-UK & Sacramento State-CA (10/2006). He was a major presenter at the “Mountains in the Mist” conference, Waimea-Hawaii (2004) & at the Doue Zoological Gardens Conference, Angers, France (2006). In 2007, he helped prepare a permanent mustang exhibit at the Carson Valley Museum & gave the kick-off speech (6/14/07). In September-October 2016, he participated in the “Soviet Peace Odyssey” cultural exchange tour and gave a stirring speech with an green message entitled  “World Peace & Unity” (Tiblisi, Soviet Georgia, standing ovation). Craig has also given illustrated talks on wild horses for the Gold Hill Hotel Historical Talks series (Nevada). In February 2019, he will present at Perissodactyla Conservation Symposium concerning vital contributions of horses, tapirs & rhinos. He has given many illustrated ecological talks to rural & urban audiences & in Spanish throughout the northern Andes.

He has designed & carried out a ground-breaking study of the endangered Mountain Tapir, becoming the first biologist to have captured, radio-collared & tracked this elusive herbivore (1989-2002). His efforts for this & associated species resulted in several large protected reserves, including Tabaconas-Namballe (n. Peru), southern expansion of “world heritage” Sangay N.P.-Ecuador, & protective status for large areas east of Quito associated with Cayambe-Coca N.P. He has served as guide, researcher & narrator for three films on the Andean Tapir: “Esperanza: The Mountain Tapir” (Living Planet Prod.-UK, Discovery/Animal Planet, 1995-1996); “The Mountain Tapir: Flagship of the Northern Andes” (INDECOM, Seoul-Korea, 1998), & an Ecuadorean film by LA Television-Quito, that sparked the Cayambe-Coca N.P. expansion. From 1986-2019, he worked with Peruvian conservationists to defend Andean tapir habitat in northern Peru & has an IUCN SSC Tapir Specialist Group (TSG) approved project for creating the Cerro Negro Reserve. In 2006, he participated in the Mountain Tapir Viability Workshop with TSG in Pereira, Colombia. His species inventories, field observations, ecological descriptions & photos concerning the Chinquapin Roadless Area in California’s Coastal Range (1981-1995, Friends of Chinquapin) helped achieve protective status for this unique area.

Also venturing into philosophy, poetry & music, he has published two books & one musical CD & given related talks & performances. These are The Spiritual Evolution: A Book on Reincarnation & Evolution (1981); Streams of the Soul (poetry, 2005); & “Wild Horse Rhapsody” (2005 CD w/ 13 original medleys, Joanne Grauer, pianist). Since 1996 as a member of the Nevada Poetry Society, he has achieved recognition for his poems (some published) & represented the society in 2003 at the national convention of the NFSPS. In April 2009, he gave a combined speech: “These Beautiful Melodies That Come to Me” and piano performance of his original melodies for the Ollie Classical Music group in Reno. He also had a special exhibit of his nature photos & poems (Sparks Museum, February-April 2018).

He has been a respected defender of naturally living horses & burros in the US, Canada, Bonaire, England, Australia, & South America. Since 2010, he has been carrying out herd & habitat evaluations in several regions of North America.  His resulting reports include Reserve Design recommendations. His Reserve Design project aims to restore wild equids to viable population levels and to allow these animals to ecologically harmonize, naturally self-stabilize, and to greatly prevent/mitigate catastrophic wildfires – of mounting concern due to Global Climate Change. As a long-time litigant and activist, his testimony and protests have helped save many wild horse and burro herds.

A respected leader in his areas of interest, Dr. Downer has been an active voice in his community. He is a member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission and the American Society of Mammologists and has served as environmental director for the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe and as a conservationist with the California Conservation Corps (CCC). He is an active member of Citizen’s Climate Lobby-Carson City.

Throughout his career, Dr. Downer has been recognized for his contributions, receiving the Excellence in American History Award from the Daughters of the American Revolution, a CCC distinguished service award, the “Judges’ Choice” poetry award (South Lake Tahoe), & support from the Chicago Zoological Society, CEPA-France, ZGAP-Germany, World Nature Association and, as a conservation fellow, from Wildlife Conservation Society-NY. He has been featured in numerous honors publications, including multiple editions of Who’s Who in America.

In recognition of outstanding contributions to his profession and the Marquis Who’s Who community, Dr. Downer has been featured on the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement website. Please visit for more information about this honor.


  1. Terry Foust

    Wow Craig you’re accomplishments are amazing!
    We could learn a lot from you!

    • Craig Downer

      Thanks so much, Terry! I try. Just wish I could do more to save precious life on Earth. I was blessed with wonderful caring parents who gave me every opportunity. The were shining examples of how to live in so many ways. I am doing a new book with ReadersMagnet that is entitled Wonder Streams of the Soul. It should be out in a little over a month. It has poetry, prose passages and photos and artistic images. Have you published a book with ReadersMagnet? Happy Holy Days!

      • Craig Downer

        Wishing you a beautiful and progressive, fulfilling New Year 2023! There are many challenges we are facing in 2023, not the least of which is to establish a thoughtful, caring lifestyle and relationship with Nature, aka The Great Rest of Life, upon which we depend in so many ways for our life here on this beautiful and multi-faceted Planet Earth. Pray to the On High for the requisite wisdom and direction to successfully meet this challenge.

  2. Kenneth

    Now this is a successful person. I’m sure the folks can learn a lot from Dr. Downer.

    • faye

      I know right? It would be such an accomplishment to achieve even half of what he’s done.

  3. Fiona Leslie

    Amazing achievements, Craig Downer… why aren’t you still teaching in Universities? I must have forgotten you taught at Bangor Uni. I was looking at their conservation and ecology courses only the other day. would you do it again? I think NOW IS THE TIME you need to speak to as many young people as possible…

    • Craig C. Downer

      Thanks, Fiona. Yes, good idea to teach again. Hope 2024 starting off well for you. How are you doing. I may go to the Andes again this year to set up a sanctuary

  4. Anamaria Boustred

    Craig is working tirelessly to stop the brutal treatment of the wild horses and burros of the West. His scientific knowledge, impressive credentials and in-depth articles are invaluable in refuting much of the misinformation purposefully being put out there by those who would remove these icons from the grazing areas and replace them with cattle and sheep.

  5. Craig C. Downer

    Thanks so much, Anamaria. Greatly appreciate your support and this is added incentive to continue the good fight. I think if the enlightenment level of people can be improved such as by reading carefully my book Wonder Streams of the Soul, then we can save the wonderful wild horses and burros in the wild together with their natural life communities and go on to save the whole living planet Earth! Happy and Progressive 2024!

  6. Craig C Downer

    Greatly appreciate your support and acknowledgement, my friends. This spurs me on to step up to the plate and do what I can. I would be interested in hearing your reactions to some of the poems and passages in my book Wonder Streams of the Soul. Wishing you all a very wonderful new year 2024 and to be increasingly aware of the unprecedented wonders that are unfolding for all of life, both individually and collectively!



  1. Person of Interest: Craig C. Downer - Horse and Rider Living - […] …and more.  And I mean more – he studied Piano at Western Nevada College, and produced an original CD,…

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