Representatives of Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation (MCHF) and Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) attended a book launching event to celebrate the completion of The Birds of Honduras by Honduran birding guide and former Peace Corps worker Robert Gallardo. This is the first book on the birds of the entire country. The availability of the book will enhance ecotourism in that country and consequently the value of conservation lands to its people. Two top Honduran tourism officials recognized this fact in their comments at the ceremony. MDC supported the project through MCHF and Audubon Chapters and individuals from around the world contributed to the special MCHF fund. Brad Jacobs represented MDC at the formal ceremony and spoke to about 300 people about the shared migratory bird resources of our countries. Former MCHF President David Reynolds and past Executive Director Rick Thom represented the Foundation at the event, which was held on January 17th on the grounds of a nature lodge near Lake Yojoa.
The 550 page book contains identification, habitat, and range information on each of Honduras’ 770 bird species as well as 73 plates of original, full color illustrations. Its arrival is just in time to equip the country’s growing number of birding guides, many of whom have been trained by Robert. Just as with nature tourism in the USA, international visitors spend time and money seeing new landscapes, plants, and animals in Central America. Costa Rica is well known for promoting this economic resource. Honduras has the potential to grow this part of its economy as interest and awareness increases.
There will be future opportunities for fundraising associated with this book. Any additional funds raised will be used to enhance bird habitat in Central America.
Brad Jacobs (left), Emilio Silvestri (Director of the Ministry of Tourism), Epaminondas Marinakys (President of the National Tourism Council) (Both men wearing MCHF caps), David Reynolds, and Rick Thom at the book launch event for Birds of Honduras.
Author Robert Gallardo and Rick Thom admire the new bird book.