Thursday, April 12, 2012

Butterfly Survey

"Oh, look! What a pretty blue butterfly!" Yes, but did you know that there are at least four separate species of Blues to be found in Berkeley Park? That's what Michelle Toshack and a crew of five volunteers discovered during the weeks of late August and early September 2011. Thirteen species of butterfly were detected at four transects (Naches Peak, Berkeley Park, Mazama Ridge and Spray Park) in a series of fifteen surveys.

With late-lying snow hampering the project in two of the areas, the group was able to collect data which may be used in determining how butterfly populations are affected by climate change. The volunteers were trained beforehand in collection protocols and identification procedures. Each five-meter "box" was carefully and slowly paced out on days when the weather met specific criteria. Volunteers showed great enthusiasm for identifying each species and came away from the project with a greater sense of the value in collecting scientific data such as this.

"Glaucopsyche lygdamus! I see a Glaucopsyche lygdamus! Check it out!" Now there's something to get excited about!

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