At a recent luncheon talk given by Dr. Alonso Aguirre to the Calvary Church Men’s Group in Front Royal, listeners learned of the perils of lost species and a growing lack of caring for our home planet. “The so-called Border Wall between the U.S. and Mexico will prevent the natural migration of certain species,” warned Dr. Aguirre, who is both a veterinarian and environmental scientist. “This may add to the dimunition in numbers of affected animals,” he added.

Attendees at the monthly luncheon learned of the huge recent decline in numbers of species. The World Wildlife Fund reports that between 1979 and 2012, there was over a 50 percent decline in vertebrate species. Dr. Aguirre also pointed out the connections between animal health and human health. He is Associate professor of Environmental Science at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

He was introduced by Dr. Charles Lickson, President of the Men’s Group at Calvary Episcopal. Dr. Lickson pointed out that he met Dr. Aguirre through his wife, Hannia Smith, a LALO member artist. Hannia created the cover art for Dr. Aguirre and Dr. Raman Sukumar’s new book: Tropical Conservation (from Oxford University Press). Her colored pencil drawing of a Clouded Leopard for the cover of the book has been widely acclaimed among art circles including at Lalo, Inc. where works must first be juried in before being accepted for display online or at Lalo’s galleries in Front Royal, Luray, Winchester and soon, Falls Church, Virginia.

As pointed out by Dr. Aguirre, the tropical regions of the world contain a huge percentage of the biodiversity of the planet. He is a frequent lecturer all over the world including the Smithsonian National Conservation Research Center in Front Royal.