We’re delighted to be launching an exclusive butterfly focused tour to Honduras in January 2024!
This exciting and totally unique tour will help towards the goal to publish the future Guide to the Butterflies of Honduras which is being authored by Robert Gallardo & Olivia Diaz. Robert has already published the Guide to the Birds of Honduras in 2015.
Robert and Olivia have been working diligently on this photographic guide since 2016. They have been instrumental in bringing the country list up to 1,250 species, including discovering the country’s first three endemics. Their fifty acre mid-elevation forest of Emerald Valley harbours a very special one of these endemics, Eleanor’s Emesis (Emesis eleanorae) named after Robert’s mother), which will be placed on the IUCN Red List in 2022.
As an integral part of this tour we will be taking part in the butterfly festival event. This will consist of six teams, each led by an expert on Neotropical butterflies. It will be run as a ‘fun’ competition to see which group records the most species. Proceeds from the event will be go towards publishing the butterfly book.
Numerous sites will be visited around the species-rich Lake Yojoa basin, which harbours the highest indices of biodiversity in the country. A memorable experience will include visiting the flower-filled gardens at Emerald Valley, a property that alone has nearly 700 species.
The event is timed to take place during the blooming cycle of the Blue Mistflower, when the Pro Nature Honduras Foundation (Pro-HN) typically runs its annual Emerald Valley Butterfly Festival. Emerald Valley and Bio Parque Paradise have several gardens filled with these ‘magical’ plants whose aroma brings butterflies down from the surrounding canopy and species that typically inhabit the forest interior. During past events, participants generally have recorded nearly 300 species and always include those considered ‘rare.’
Who knows what might turn up during our visit – a new site record? new country record? Or maybe the ultimate dream of a new species!