Kris Tompkins, Conservacion Patagonica’s founder and president, says this is “the coolest award she’s gotten:” a newly discovered species of frog now bears the Tompkins name. This frog lives in the rainforest of Tanzania’s Nguru South and Nguu North Mountains. This well-adapted amphibian changes color from day to night: from milky white daywear to yellow with brown spots for nighttime. A fairly small frog, it emits a cheerful chirp to signal its presence.
At their 21st annual Artists for Africa benefit, the African Rainforest Conservancy (ARC) honored Kris and Doug with the New Species Award for their “lifelong passionate commitment to land conservation and environmental activism.” Held on Wednesday, April 11th at The Prince George Ballroom in NYC, the benefit featured a live auction to support ARC’s mission of advancing the conservation of Tanzania’s Eastern Arc Mountains and Coastal Forests through a longtime partnership with the Tanzania Forest Conservation Group. Benefit Host Lauren Hutton, the model and actress, presented the award to Kris, saying she hoped to visit us in Patagonia before long. A crowd of over two hundred guests, including eco-model Summer Rayne Oakes, ARC founder Carter Coleman, and literary giant Jay McInerney, joined in the celebration.
Kris accepted the award on the behalf of Doug and the entire Conservacion Patagonica and Conservation Land Trust teams, thanking the conservationists in Chile and Argentina with whom the couple works. Benjamin Saucedo, son of CP Conservation Director Cristian Saucedo and Volunteer Program Manager Paula Herrera, is particularly excited about this honor. A budding grade school herpetologist, Benjamin spends every free minute tracking down new frog species at the Patagonia National Park project, where he lives. He already knows more about the different amphibian species in the area than anyone around, except for, perhaps, his father. Now we’ll have to send him to the forests of Africa to hunt down Kris and Doug’s froggy relative!