Rob Butler

AFC Conservation Artist of the Month for July, 2014


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 is producing a film called Three Waters: A Journey Through the Salish Sea ( 
 Rob is a rare combination of an artist, scientist, and author. "I like to think my interests are driven by curiosity. Whatever the reason, my early interest in animals and art created a career dilemma. While pursuing a biology degree, I painted birds that resulted in magazine features, commissions and shows. To complicate things, I was working on a graduate degree in biology when I was offered a job with the Canadian Wildlife Service. I chose the science career so that I could devote my time studying the ecology of birds across the globe. I became a senior research scientist and adjunct professor in biology at Simon Fraser University. Everywhere I went, I carried a sketch book in which I documented in time-tested explorer tradition the wild places of the world. I continue to paint birds in my studio, several of which were given as gifts to government dignitaries and shown in Asia and Europe."
His specialty is watercolour because of its ease of use in the field. He has been very fortunate to join the ranks of fellows of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society, The Explorers Club, and American Ornithologists Union, as well be an outstanding alumnus at two universities.
Rob supports conservation organizations with artwork donations. He presented a gift of three snow geese descending through the clouds to the Canadian Wildlife Service during a dedication for a new office wing at Alaksen where he started his professional career as a biologist in 1979. Nearly 100,000 snow geese arrive each fall to the Alaksen National Wildlife Area on the Fraser River Delta south of Vancouver. 
Rob is Fellow of The Royal Canadian Geographic Society which aims to make Canada better known to Canadians and to the world. He is also a Fellow International, of The Explorers Club which was founded over a century ago, to promote scientific field research and exploration. 

Previous Conservation Artists of the Month

(December, 2019)
(November, 2019)
(October, 2019)
(September, 2019)
(August, 2019)
(July, 2019)
(June, 2019)
(May, 2019)
(April, 2019)
(March, 2019)
(February, 2019)
(January, 2019)
(December, 2018)
(November, 2018)
(October, 2018)
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