Dr. Patrick Condy, executive director of Fossil Rim Wildlife Center (FRWC), has devoted his entire life to wildlife conservation efforts. He presides over business, conservation, and education operations and programs at FRWC.
Condy came to Fossil Rim in 2003, and has been instrumental in bringing it back from the brink of financial failure. He has also played a key role in the 2008 donation to Fossil Rim of the 1,700 acres of land, which has created a new era for conservation at the wildlife center.
Condy was born in Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe. He started going into the African bush with his uncle, a wildlife veterinarian, when he was about seven.
“The excitement (and danger) of it, camping in lovely settings, the evenings around a cooking fire learning the sounds of the wild, the deep knowledge of the ways of wildlife and how African culture was connected to this taught by my uncle’s African trackers, pristine nature vs. city and traffic all around, clean air and water, star-studded skies, all those and lots more must have gotten into my soul at that tender age, and has shaped the rest of my life,” Condy said.
Condy earned a doctorate in zoology, studying the southern elephant seal in the sub-Antarctic and Antarctic regions.
He later worked for the National Parks and Wildlife Department of Rhodesia in the early 1970s. He moved to South Africa where he conducted research on seals and whales in the Antarctic for six years before becoming the director of scientific research in the South African Antarctic Program.
He also did wildlife consultancy for a major 1980s trend by cattle ranchers converting to game ranching. From 1992 through 2000, he was director of the Johannesburg Zoo.
In 2001, he and his family came to the United States. He was hired as the program dean at the School for Field Studies in Massachusetts, an offshoot of Boston University. He was responsible for creating and implementing research programs at the school’s two research centers in Kenya, on South Caikos Island of the Turks and Caikos Islands and at Puerto San Carlos at Bahia Magdelena in Baja sur state of Mexico.
He has been continually working to increase Fossil Rim’s engagement with and contributions to conservation field projects around the globe since 2003. Fossil Rim is presently a major player in the Attwater’s prairie chicken recovery program, one of Texas’ most endangered species. Recently, they have also provided some Addax and Scimitar-horned Oryx antelope for re-introduction to Tunisia, Africa.
Condy hopes to establish long-term financial stability at Fossil Rim, with more wildlife research, and more engagement with field research programs in the home ranges of threatened wildlife, more visitors to Fossil Rim, expanded educational programs, and an increased contribution to the local economy through tourism.
Condy has done more for the conservation of wildlife than most people could accomplish in two lifetimes. He also received Honorary Life memberships of the Zoological Society of South Africa and the Wildlife Management Association of Southern Africa.
He helped found the Pan African Zoo and Aquarium Association (PAAZAB) and served on the board for many years.
He served as scientific advisor on the South African delegation to the Antarctic Treaty system, and as national representative on the International Scientific Committee on Antarctic research. Condy has also authored many scientific publications and co-authored a number of books on the ecology and conservation of the Antarctic.
Condy feels he still has a great deal of work and accomplishments ahead of him. “Looking to the future, there are countless possibilities as wild space and wildlife itself continue to decline rapidly all over the globe,” he said.