Société Audubon Haiti was founded as a non-profit foundation in July 2003. The foundation was organized by a group of professionals concerned with the degradation of Haiti’s ecosystems and determined to contribute to their protection and restoration. The founding members are Philippe Bayard, Jacky Lumarque and Florence Sergile.
Since its beginnings, SAH has welcomed the participation of adults, children, educators, researchers, business persons, local associations, Haitian institutions and international groups desiring to conserve the biodiversity of the island.
SAH was founded in honor of Jean-Jacques Fougère Audubon, the American ornithologist who was born in Cayes, Haiti, on April 26, 1785. He was the son of a French naval captain, Lieutenant Jean Audubon, and his mistress, Jeanne Rabine, who died shortly after his birth. The detailed observations and love for birds began during his early years in Haiti before he moved to France with his father at the age of 6 where he was raised near Nantes. At the age of 18, his father sent him to Pennsylvania, USA to avoid being enlisted in the French military service and to work on a farm that his father owned. He married Lucy Bakewell who encouraged him to explore and develop his talents as a naturalist and artist.
Audubon published his masterpiece, Birds of America, a folio of 435 hand-colored plates at the age of 35. During the preparation of this publication, he traveled throughout Europe and became a celebrity in Edinburg, London and Paris among the scientific societies that honored his achievements. In 1840, he began another book, Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America, which was published posthumously. He died in New York City on January 27, 1851 and is buried near his home in Manhattan.