James Smith founder and director of fauNature has been awarded the SA Environments Pelzer Prize sponsored by Green Adelaide at the 2023 SA Environment Awards held on 5 June 2023.

Minister for Climate, Environment and Water, Dr Susan Close with the 2023 Pelzer Prize winner James Smith**

  Minister for Climate, Environment and Water, Dr Susan Close with the 2023 Pelzer Prize winner James Smith


“I feel privileged to have received the prestigious Green Adelaide Pelzer Prize presented by the Honourable Minister Dr Susan Close. It is an honour to have my work recognised, and I am humbled to be included with the impressive list of finalists at the 2023 SA Environmental Awards, who are all striving to improve environmental outcomes in SA.”

James Smith

Founder, fauNature

Green Adelaide has championed the Pelzer Prize, which is an award for South Australia’s green heroes, conservation leaders and champions of the environment, named in honour of Adelaide’s first city gardener – August Wilhelm Pelzer. Pelzer (1862-1934) transformed the Adelaide city landscape during his 33 years as head gardener, arresting the loss of trees in our parklands and planting thousands more.*

For nearly two decades, James Smith has been a dedicated advocate for wildlife across the State while primarily focusing on urban and peri-urban environments. Through the delivery of presentations, workshops, publications and media appearances, James has contributed significantly to an appreciation of urban wildlife in South Australia. More broadly, James has driven greater understanding around hollow-dependent species and the resources they need and has enhanced our knowledge through research initiatives and co-pioneered a nationally recognised carved hollows workshop. For many years, James has contributed to educating the community about South Australia’s urban wildlife and habitat to drive a cooler, greener and wilder metropolitan Adelaide.

The award criteria

A conservation leader or champion of the environment who has gone above and beyond to restore landscapes, create habitat for wildlife, connect people to nature, or clean up our parks, beaches and waterways within a South Australian urban environment. The Pelzer Prize honours the significant environmental efforts made by individuals that drive a cooler, greener and wilder metropolitan Adelaide. Green Adelaide Board Presiding Member Professor Chris Daniels said that it’s an honour to celebrate our local environmental.   Read more details here on the Green Adelaide website.


*Award criteria provided by 2023 SA environment awards
**Image credit Green Adelaide

Contact fauNature today

Intro to Hollows eBook

“James Smith deserves the 2023 Pelzer Prize for his tireless advocacy for wildlife and their habitat, and his role educating and connecting the community with nature over several decades, it is truly admirable.”

Chris Daniels

“His passion for nature perfectly reflects the essence of the Pelzer Prize.”