Each month, AFC recognizes an artist for their strong commitment to conservation through art. This month, AFC salutes Rob Butler.
Dr. Rob Butler is one of Canada's best known ornithologists. He is widely published in the scientific and popular press where his publications on conservation aided in international and national designations to important bird habitats. His advice is sought by governments and conservation organizations in Canada and abroad. He co-produced two films (The Perfect State (2016), and Returning (2018) about nature embedded in culture. He is also President of the Pacific WildLife Foundation.
The Fraser River Delta has received the highest conservation designations for its birds and large areas have been assigned for their conservation. An important step to assure the continuation of the conservation measures undertaken over the past 30 years is to bring together stakeholders around a common vision. In 1987, Rob coauthored a report on the international signficance of birds on the Fraser River Delta in British Columbia, Canada. Many of the report's recommendations were implemented which helped stabilize and contributed to the recovery of its birdlife. The delta lies just south of Vancouver where there are many pressures on the land base. The 30 year reveiw will call on interested parties to develop a common vision and mobilize combined efforts to conserve and to celebrate the presence of the millions of birds that annually use the delta. A portion of sales of Rob's artwork will go this cause.
Rob played an instrumental role in establishing Vancouver Bird Week and the Vancouver International Bird Festival, the latter which provided a venue for AFC. His publications and outreach served to raise awareness and establish designations for bird habitats along the Pacific Flyway. Rob's art is an extension of his conservation work. He is a supporter of the arts as a means to raise conservation awareness.