ORAS is thrilled to host Robert Gallardo for a second time for our upcoming speaker meeting on Thursday April 1st at 7pm. The title of his talk is "Birds, and now, the Butterflies of Honduras". Register at this link to get the Zoom login for the talk: https://forms.gle/WDCJqEqr37UGb4UAA
Since an early age Robert has a passion for Nature and by the age of 11 he was already collecting butterflies. He has carried this passion with him ever since. He graduated Humboldt State University with a degree in Natural Resources Planning and Interpretation and shortly afterwards went to Honduras as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer. There, he worked with a national park and on a secondary project helped a community set up the country's first butterfly farm. He has lived and worked in Honduras ever since.
He eventually became a self-taught expert on its birds and learned the calls by making recordings for six years. In 2015 he published the country's first book: "Guide to the Birds of Honduras" and two years later a full Spanish edition. With the help of donations he and the Pro Nature Honduras Foundation were able to donate 400 copies to 10,000 elementary school children in rural schools. Robert was also the lead instructor during five formal courses on training bird watching guides. By the end of two decades he had seen over 700 species in the country and added 40 country records.
Robert and Olivia have been working diligently on the next book project: "Guide to the Butterflies of Honduras" for the past four years, although Robert has been 'observing' these winged creatures during his entire time in the country. They have already surpassed 300 country records and in the first 14 months discovered the country's first three endemic species, all being new for science. They reside at Emerald Valley where there alone they have documented nearly 700 species, representing more than 50% of the country's total. This diversity eventually prompted them to initiate an annual event coined the Emerald Valley Butterfly Festival which has now run for two years.