Pablo's Story

Pablo García-Borboroglu
Founder of Global Penguin Society

Pablo Garcia Boboroglu
penguin illustration
landscape illustration


Dr Pablo Garcia Borboroglu is one of the world's leading penguin experts and has been supported along his amazing conservation journey by the Rufford Small Grant programme.

Inspired by his grandmother’s trips on horseback to visit penguin colonies in her native Patagonia, Pablo's work has expanded to study and protect 32 million acres of penguin habitat. His founding and leadership of the Global Penguin Society have elevated the conservation of all 18 species of penguin.

He has worked on all aspects of the conservation sphere: scientific research and analysis, habitat study and creation and the co-ordination of protected areas with government, local people and international conservation bodies including UNESCO.

The Rufford Foundation is immensely proud to have worked with Pablo since the award of his first Rufford Small Grant in 2006.


There are 18 species of penguins
on the planet and half are
considered threatened.


In the video below, Pablo shares with us the things that have inspired him on his journey, and the many vital elements that make up a successful nature conservation programme. He also sets out his vision for how conservation can and must be transformed in the future.

Key Achievements

  • 1969

    Born in Argentina

    At a young age Pablo is inspired by his grandmother's horseback trips to visit penguin colonies in her native Patagonia.

  • 1989

    Trip to Patagonia

    Pablo travels south to Patagonia and is shocked to discover tens of thousands of penguins dying each year due to oil spills.

  • 1990s

    Retrains as a biologist

    Pablo originally studied law but after witnessing the mass penguin deaths, he decides to study biology as a path to helping conserve them..

  • 2006

    1st RSG Awarded

    Pablo studies the poorly known endemic, flightless Chubut steamerduck in Patagonia, coming up with information crucial to conserving this unusual species.

    View project right arrow

  • 2009

    Founded Global Penguin Society

    Global Penguin Society founded by Pablo with the help of funding from the Rufford Foundation.

  • 2014

    Final RSG Awarded

    Pablo aims to promote the protection of the world's penguins at a global scale through integrated ocean conservation that includes science, management and education.

    View project right arrow

  • 2015

    UNESCO Patagonia

    Designation of UNESCO Patagonia Azul Biosphere reserve.

    Find out more right arrow

  • 2018

    Winner of more conservation awards

    A host of further awards for Pablo and the GPS, including the Whitley Gold Award, Rolex Award for Enterprise and National Geographic Buffet Award.

Three Things I've Learned...


Rufford Small Grants were the original seed to my work that has led to much larger conservation impact. But conservation is hugely underfunded. We need to increase funding for species conservation but also to conserve the environmental services that allow us to survive.


Conservationists need to communicate their scientific work in an accessible/friendly language that can be understood by all society including communities, artists, politicians and religious leaders.


We need to be more like penguins! Persistent, patient and driven! In difficult times it's important to focus on achieving our main goals. This gives us energy to keep going despite all the challenges that we encounter.

What next?

Apply for a Rufford Small Grant for
your conservation project

Apply now