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Corfu Butterfly Conservation Committee

Katerina Kyriaki

Katerina Kyriaki

I was born in Corfu where I went to school. We lived between Corfu and Athens, where I moved when I was 18. I studied foreign languages and worked in shipping and imports.

Returning in Corfu I worked in tourism and commerce. I studied to become a Authorised Tourist guide and I guide throughout the country in English, French, Spanish and Italian. For business and pleasure I have travelled around the globe. I lived for a year in the U.S.A, as an exchange student, a few years in Italy and for a few months in Germany.

I enjoy sports such as water skiing, tennis, winter swimming. I ride a motorbike.

My family taught me how to love and respect nature and its creatures. We spent time in Poulades, the ideal setting for watching birds, insects, wildflowers and butterflies. In recent years I’ve been enjoying nature photography and been learning as much as I can about plants and butterflies. This is how I got to know better Anne Sordinas and she introduced me to Corfu Butterfly Conservation.

I believe that it is extremely important to protect the environment on the island and its butterflies. With the knowledge of the experts and the dedication of the members, people can get to know and learn more about the unique creatures that butterflies are and protect them. I would like to help in anyway I can.

Zoi Fondoulakou

Zoi Fondoulakou

I was born in Germany but grew up in North Greece, where I was always elated by any opportunity to interact with living creatures, be they either large or small. I was fortunate enough to have a childhood full of colour, full of outdoor activities and adventures, that cultivated my deep love for the natural world. Like any child I was fascinated by everything in my environment and my first lessons were given by nature herself. From a very young age I made an oath to protect all living creatures, which I still hold myself to today. And so, it should be no surprise to hear that the protection of the environment soon became my crusade.

I?ve studied Forest engineering and Forestry and within these studies my major area of interest has become the conservation and management of wildlife. In order to finish my master?s degree, I have had to start work in an unrelated field but although my time is limited, I still try to immerse myself as much as possible within nature.

I have always felt passionate about butterflies, partly because of their beauty and partly because their life cycles make them such enigmatic insects. Throughout my studies the importance of insects has become increasingly apparent, especially in terms of their roles within functioning ecosystems and this is particularly true of butterflies.

For the last seven years Corfu has been my home and I have been overwhelmed by the astonishing diversity and abundance of the island?s butterflies. In recent years I have become increasingly concerned by the pressure that butterflies are under, especially from development and it?s clear that we need to think more carefully about the protection of habitats for butterflies, along with all the other wildlife of Corfu.

I?m really pleased to be able to make a positive contribution as a member of the Corfu Butterfly Conservation team.

Sam Ellis

Sam Ellis

I am Butterfly Conservation’s International Director and have been working on the ecology and conservation of butterflies for over 30 years. I have held various roles with Butterfly Conservation, working principally on the development and delivery of landscape-scale conservation for some of the UK’s most threatened species. Butterfly Conservation is committed to expanding its international work and has recently produced a new International Strategy outlining its ambitions. These include supporting the recording of European butterflies and so we are very keen to collaborate with Corfu Butterfly Conservation.

Over the last year we have worked in partnership to develop the project and are now seeking funding to help deliver the public events, educational and volunteer training programmes, as well as the production of the Corfu Butterfly Atlas. I am looking forward to visiting Corfu for the first time as soon as possible. Like many young naturalists, I was a great fan of Gerald Durrell’s books and these were a critical early step on my way to becoming a professional ecologist. So I feel privileged to be able to participate in Corfu Butterfly Conservation and hopefully give something back to the island which helped steer my career choice.

Anne Sordinas

Anne Sordinas

I was born on Corfu and after spending a childhood abroad, I have lived permanently on the island for the past 37 years. I have always been interested in the natural world, especially insect life. This passion was nurtured by summers spent in Corfu in an idyllic setting surrounded by amazing wildlife and my grandfather?s butterfly and shell collections. I feel humbled to have lived in a village with no electricity or running water. Light was the Milky Way galaxy and music was the howling of the now extinct jackals. I now enjoy butterfly hunting in the same gardens I played in as a child.

After many years of working in tourism and as an English language teacher, my wish is to now give back to my beloved island by supporting ventures such as the Corfu Butterfly survey. I?m overjoyed to have met like-minded individuals who share my passion for wildlife, and especially butterflies and moths.

After witnessing the negative effects of tourism in my lifetime, I am heartened to see increasing interest in the ecology of the island as opposed to package holidays.

I hope to join both my fellow Corfiots and all who love the island in saving our rich natural heritage and I feel honoured to be a part of Corfu Butterfly Conservation.

Dan Danahar

Dan Danahar

I am a science teacher in a comprehensive school in Brighton, England, where I have been involved with a variety of biodiversity related projects for the last 25 years. I have had an interest in butterflies since a very early age and my first trip to Corfu was in 1976, when I was astonished by the variety of wildlife on the island, including its butterflies. It was shortly after this holiday that I first encountered Gerald Durrell’s account of his childhood in ‘My Family and other Animals’. I then knew that I wanted to return to Corfu some day but I had to wait 31 years before this happened. Since then I have returned to the island on 17 occasions and I intend to increase this total during my retirement years.

In 2014 I had surgery for prostate cancer and during my recovery period I set up a Facebook page about the butterflies of Corfu. I wrote that I had a ‘whimsical’ idea of writing a book about Corfiot butterflies. I’m delighted that this discussion page has lead to the development of a vibrant community of dedicated butterfly enthusiasts, many of which share my own passion for the island’s natural heritage. In 2019, together we started working on the development of the project we now call Corfu Butterfly Conservation. I am immensely proud to be a part of such an enthusiastic community and look forward to seeing our work have positive outcomes for Corfu's landscape and its people.

Chris Little

Chris Little

I have been an insect person all my life as my parents can confirm. They suffered my obsession for years with my microscopic attention to flies - as a child I found a new species to Britain; the breeding of locusts and stick insects, both of which escaped all over the house to the horror off my grandmother and watching me leaping among the crags of Glen Coe chasing the Scotch Argus butterfly. It was scant relief when I left for university to study, naturally, Biological Sciences. But ecology and conservation had hardly been invented and I found biochemistry and human physiology profoundly unfulfilling. Strangely my son Toby is now taking the same course at the same university.

So I escaped into a life of business only to have my passion reawakened when Janine and I bought a holiday house on the wonderful island of Corfu. I empathise completely with the young Gerald Durrell and probably exhibit many of the same behaviours. Looking for scorpions at night with a UV light, jumping up from the taverna table to chase a brightly coloured fleeting fluttering moth, and walking for miles across baking hillsides and shaded olive groves with my long lens camera to the puzzlement of Corfiots and holiday makers. The butterflies of Corfu are a pleasurable and accessible way to help to conserve the natural environment in all its tangled splendour.

Peter Sutton

Peter Sutton

Peter Sutton was born in Essex in 1968 and spent his formative years studying the natural history of Crawley, in West Sussex. He has a passion for insects, fishes, reptiles and amphibians, among his general interest in natural history, and has a particular interest in the Orthoptera and their allies, becoming the national recording scheme organiser for this group of insects in 2002 and providing regular updates through a column in British Wildlife magazine.

Peter went on to study chemistry and as a research scientist, specialised in the synthesis of the isotopically labelled compounds used to address global pollution problems, and the development of pollution detecting electrodes. His combined interests in chemistry and natural history have led to the publication of over 200 articles and papers, 16 of which concern the invertebrate fauna of Corfu.

His current interests include the completion of a Field Guide for the Orthoptera and allied insects of Britain and Ireland, a second book about the larger water beetles of Britain, a natural history of Bushy Park (London?s second-largest royal deer park), and, having been inspired by Gerald Durrell, a book about the natural history of Corfu.

Rob Kesseler

Rob Kesseler

I am an artist and Emeritus Professor of Art, Design & Science at the University of the Arts London. Throughout my life the living world has been a constant source of inspiration and for the past twenty years I have been using microscopy to study the complexities of flora and fauna under the lens. The resulting images have been exhibited internationally and published in an award-winning series of books on Pollen and Seeds, journals and media including the BBC. More recently I held a solo exhibition at the Municipal Art Gallery in Corfu.

My wife and lifelong partner is a Corfiot and we have a beautiful house in the centre of the island where we spend many moths of the year. Set in an olive grove, it has an abundant variety of flora on which the bees from my two hives are kept busy gathering nectar. Naturally butterflies also play an important role as pollinators and through becoming a member of the CBC Committee I am pleased to join others in increasing awareness and understanding of these beautiful creatures so they may continue to delight us.

Nigel Symington

Nigel Symington

I’ve been passionate about wildlife all my life, on retirement I took advantage of the time this has given me to become more involved in its conservation. I joined Butterfly Conservation in 2010, and in 2012 I began a period of 6 years as Chair of Sussex Branch. In my time in office I project-managed the publication of the highly acclaimed 'The Butterflies of Sussex' of which Neil Hulme and Michael Blencowe were the authors. I also initiated major habitat restoration in the BC reserve at Rowland Wood, which has led to the successful re-introduction of the Pearl- and Small Pearl-bordered Fritillaries.

My career was in commercial food and drink marketing and project management, developing compelling consumer propositions and managing them to meet agreed volume and profit targets. I worked across almost all countries in Europe, and some further afield, which gave me a broad exposure to the challenges of working within different cultural environments.I have been a Trustee of Butterfly Conservation since 2012, and am currently Hon Treasurer. My ideal summer’s day is to walk with my camera over Sussex’s whale-backed downs looking for butterflies.

Steve Cheshire

Steve Cheshire

My passion for wildlife and butterflies in particular began as a child. Exploring 'the lanes' every Sunday afternoon with my grandad near his home in Leicestershire sowed the seed of my interest. Many important lessons were learnt in these 'wildernesses which are now no more. Today they are lost forever, like so many places to 'development'. Gone are the birds, butterflies and wildflowers that inspired my interest as a child.

My interest in British Butterflies is illustrated by my own website www.britishbutterflies.co.uk. Constantly evolving, the site is currently being redesigned in my spare time.

In 1998 I joined the committee of the Warwickshire Branch of Butterfly Conservation. One of my first tasks was to build their first website. A few years later, this website became one of the first in the UK to offer an online butterfly recording to it's members and the general public.

Previously, I've worked as a Senior Archaeological Illustrator for Oxford Archaeology and The Museum of London Archaeological Service (MoLAS). I worked for Warwickshire Wildlife Trust as their Marketing and Communications Officer for more than six years before moving on for a short time to the Heart of England Forest as their Marketing Manager. I'm currently employed as Senior Interpretation Officer for 'Transforming the Trent Valley', a Heritage Lottery Funded Landscape Partnership Scheme led by Staffordshire Wildlife Trust.

In June 2020, Dr Dan Danahar from Corfu Butterfly Conservation invited me to develop the Corfu Butterfly Conservation website. I'm very pleased to be involved in such an exciting project to help protect Corfiot wildlife.

Giannis Gasteratos

Giannis Gasteratos

I was born on Corfu in 1982 and spent most of my childhood exploring and studying this wildlife paradise. Over the years I developed a particular passion for birds but as time has passed, I have monitored mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish. This has been in both a voluntary and professional capacity.

Photography has been a great source of inspiration for me. These days I contribute to many of the wildlife forums on social media that are principally concerned with the natural heritage of Greece. During the last few years my interest in butterflies has increased massively and this is in part because I have found they make such intriguing photographic subjects.

I am very proud of my Corfiot heritage and participate professionally in traditional Greek dancing. I have been actively involved in the most recent television productions of Gerald Durrell’s ‘My Family and Other Animals’ supplying both footage for some of the wildlife scenes, as well as playing supplementary roles as an acting extra.

I have two Masters of Science degrees; the first in Forestry and Management of the Environment and Natural Resources and the second is in the Sustainable Management of Protected Areas. I’m excited to support and contribute to the Corfu Butterfly Conservation project and to have a focus for my newfound passion, within a group of like-minded individuals.

George Kaloyiannis

George Kaloyiannis

I was born and grew up in Corfu and spent most of my free time exploring the olive groves around our home and swimming in the nearby sea during the summertime. My first interest in animals began at 8 years old when I persuaded my parents to allow me an aquarium in which I kept a variety of marine fish and corals.

Soon after, I attended the Gerald Durrell Week and met a variety of experts in the fields of herpetology, botany and entomology. The opportunity to join the group each year thereafter, inspired me and encouraged my interest in the environment of this amazing island.

Parallel to my interest in the environment, I have also developed a passion for wildlife photography, in particular of butterflies, dragonflies and other insects. I have contributed many of my photos and studies of the lifecycles of various butterfly species to the Corfu Butterfly Conservation FaceBook group, where I have met many other people with similar interests.

Having completed my education in Corfu in June 2020, I started studying Zoology at the University of Sussex in England in September. I am very proud to have been invited to join Corfu Butterfly Conservation, it is a great honour and I look forward to being part of such an amazing project.

 

We would also like to thank...

On the 16 December 2021 Corfu Butterfly Conservation (CBC) became a UK registered Community Interest Company – No. 13813164. Consequently, as of that date our identity changed from being a project to that of an organisation. 

This designation was soon to have an influence on the way that we operated and so early in 2022 the team of individuals who had been working to support the development of Corfu Butterfly Conservation disbanded and our new committee was formed. In many cases the individuals who make up our committee are the same as those who were on the team. However, in some cases our friends and colleagues have moved on to follow other exciting interests and passions. 

The committee of Corfu Butterfly Conservation would like to take this opportunity to thank the following individuals for their contributions, for which we are most grateful:

Harry Clarke, Mark Colvin, Bob Foreman and Spyros Spathes.