Robert J. Gallardo
Robert is originally from the city of Santa Paula, California, U.S.A. From a very early age he has developed a fondness for the natural world and this eventually led him to get a degree in Natural Resources Planning and Interpretation at Humboldt State University, California in 1992.
He is a devote naturalist that has resided in Honduras since 1993, after having served as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer for three years. He avidly studies Honduras’ birds, butterflies and orchids, but admires all fields of flora and fauna.
He is a visionary person who, after volunteering his time during Peace Corps, decided to dedicate the remainder of his adult life to encourage the development of nature tourism in Honduras. His work provides an integral message and a tangible source regarding the importance of conservation, protection and sustainable use of the environment.
He is a dedicated professional with a progressive and scientific train of thinking. His work values have given Honduras and untold amount of opportunities in conservation development, economic employment and baseline knowledge of biodiversity. A dynamic and enterprising person, since the year 2000 he has promoted nature tourism by offering his skills as a naturalist guide to groups and companies from across the globe. He not only added 40 country bird records in Honduras, but was also the first person to observe over 700 species in the country.
He has authored and produced numerous natural history productions such as the Birds of Lake Yojoa, a CD Bird Songs of Honduras, a CD Orchids of Honduras and two editions of the Guide to the Birds of Honduras (English vs. in 2015 and Spanish vs. in 2018). He was also the pioneer of numerous butterfly breeding facilities in the country. Since 2009 he has been the lead instructor in five formal courses in teaching Honduran nationals on how to become a bird guide. He currently works as a consultant and tour leaders in various fields of flora and fauna.
Returning to his childhood passion for butterflies has recently led him to discover the first and second undescribed species of butterflies; both being endemic to Honduras (currently in the process of publication). Together with the Foundation they will be striving to publish the country’s first butterfly guide.
As the Foundation’s first president, he will strive to lead the dedicated and talented members into achieving new levels of appreciation of natural history that will not only have local benefits, but national and regional as well. He and Olivia, along with the Foundation members and other devoted conservationists, will aim to open the country’s first complete nature center at Emerald Valley; a picturesque natural sanctuary at Lake Yojoa that harbors some of the highest levels of biodiversity in the country.