Henri François Pittier

Henri François Pittier de Fabrega (August 13, 1857 in Bex, Switzerland – January 27, 1950 in Caracas, Venezuela) was a Swiss-born geographer and botanist who started Venezuelan National Park history.

He graduated as an engineer from the University of Jena and moved to Costa Rica in 1887, where he founded the Physical Geographic Institute and an herbarium. Pittier collected fungi in Costa Rica which was published as a paper in 1896 by Marietta Hanson Rousseau and Elisa Caroline Bommer, and collected spiders that were detailed or described by A. Getaz in a paper in 1893, and collected at various dates and locations in the prior four years. That latter work also mentions a specimen from Greytown (Nicaragua) also collected by H.Pittier.

Pittier arrived in Venezuela in 1917, where he classified more than 30,000 plants and devoted many years to studying the flora and fauna in the country. Henri Pittier National Park was the first national park established in Venezuela.

The plant genera ''Pittiera'' (now considered a synonym of ''Polyclathra''), ''Pittierella'' (now considered a synonym of ''Cryptocentrum'') and ''Pittierothamnus'' (now considered a synonym of ''Amphidasya'') are named after him. His name is also associated with Pittier's crab-eating rat, ''Ichthyomys pittieri''. and more than 500 species honor him. The Venezuelan government grants the Henri Pittier Order of Merit to Conservation.

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Published 2013
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