Kathy Beza Richardson, Joshquinn Andrews & Allen Belden looking at a Question Mark in Virginia, USA.
During the weekend of July 17-18th, dozens of butterfly enthusiasts across the continent participated in the first annual Butterflying World Series hosted by Sustainable Monarch. Part community science initiative and part friendly competition, the Butterflying World Series challenges people to collect pledges for the number or diversity of butterflies they see in a given time period. Prizes for top results included butterfly field guides. Information collected is used to track butterfly population trends. The event featured butterfly walks and counts plus informal activities like casual observations from home and afield. Butterfliers (butterfly watchers) recorded the number and species they saw each day and could submit observations to e-Butterfly or iNaturalist. A total of 175 species were recorded by 60 online users. Multiple trips had 10-12 people who designated one person from the group to submit data so the impact was significantly greater than the number of recorders. One team, “Start Your Engines”, was composed of retired professors and state natural resources employees, Master Naturalists, personnel from Ft. Pickett, the Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation and Sustainable Monarch Staff. See some photos of their expedition on base, Foundation & private lands HERE.
Winners for the various categories are -
Most Species: Ryan Rodriguez (54 species, Texas).
Most Money Raised: Carl “Doc” Burrows ($360 contributed in pledges, New Jersey).
Best Photo: John Demko (Fiery Skipper In Flight, Georgia).
Fiery Skipper In Flight by John Demko, Georgia, USA.
Sustainable Monarch is pleased with the initial effort everyone put forth both in counting butterflies and garnering donations, which raised $1,345 for conservation in its first year. A special thank you to everyone who assisted with organizing outings, identifying butterflies, submitted sightings and providing guidance to others as we all learn together. Honorable mention goes out to Robert Martin, James Grant & Terri Harley who each gave $200 to support mission programs. Everyone sounds excited for next year!
For updates and to find out how to get involved, visit the social media group or reach out to Marcus@sustainablemonarch.org. Remember to follow #ButterflyingWorldSeries for more information & great butterfly photos!