North Platte, Nebraska: Butterflying is the act of detecting butterflies and maintaining lists of what you saw on formal or informal walks or counts. It is great for people of all ages & backgrounds. Butterfliers (butterfly watchers) contribute to community science initiatives, enjoy the company of others, all while getting exercise in the outdoors.
The Butterflying World Series is the fun competition that generates money for butterfly conservation. Teams register and secure pledges for the total number of species or individual butterflies they observe during a pre-determined time period. You can participate on your own from the comfort of your home garden or join a group visiting natural areas for a count. The Butterflying World Series has something for everyone! Competitions are broken down by region as well so the winners of one area can compete with those from others. Data is contributed to community science organizations to track butterfly population trends. Revenue supports the conservation & education mission of Sustainable Monarch (https://www.sustainablemonarch.org/).
e-Butterfly has created a special user interface that will allow Sustainable Monarch to monitor progress of observations during the Butterflying World Series. Sustainable Monarch is collaborating with others to establish a network of sites specifically managed for butterflies that will facilitate butterfly movement across the landscape and benefit local communities through economic incentives. The reserve program will be a major beneficiary of funds raised by the event held July 17-18, 2021. e-Butterfly, based out of a partnership of the Vermont School of Field Studies, has created an international, data-driven project dedicated to butterfly biodiversity, conservation and education.
“e-Butterfly offers a comprehensive system to monitor trends for all butterfly populations,” said Marcus Gray Executive Director of Sustainable Monarch, “We need to know what’s happening in the field in real time to be nimble enough to adapt to environmental change.” Since the 1980's butterflies have declined by HALF generally & some like Monarchs are doing far worse. The primary cause is habitat loss with shifting ranges and abundances making butterflies at risk of wide swings in numbers. As butterfly species decline, that may have already been locally rare or found in disjointed ranges due to specific vegetation requirements, they are likely to get into serious trouble.
“We set up e-Butterfly with the idea that both recreational butterfly watching and standardized surveys can contribute to our understanding of butterfly populations. By working with Sustainable Monarch, the number of people contributing information to open-source databases will increase.”
-Rodrigo Solis, Human Network and Data Coordinator, e-butterfly.org
Observing butterflies casually or part of a formal group is great fun and a wonderful way to contribute to research projects. The e-Butterfly website allows for tracking observations in the form of checklists and photos. If you would like to learn more about how to use the platform and contribute to community science by participating in the Butterflying World Series, connect for more details, updates and guidance on submitting butterfly sighting reports. Sign up to register your team account on the Butterflying World Series Project when it becomes available here: https://www.e-butterfly.org/ebapp/en/signin