Butterfly abundance and distribution are indicators of trends in the health of the environment and state of biodiversity both locally and across the entire migration route of some species. Their rapid lifecycles and high sensitively to environmental conditions makes monitoring population trends important to early identification of problems. Citizen science volunteers and butterfly counts are key to influencing fact-based policy decisions.
The Nature London Annual Butterfly Count serves a number of purposes including:
- Data is submitted to the North American Butterfly Association and aggregated to monitor butterfly populations across broad geographic regions.
- It raises public awareness by hosting an event that will increase general interest in butterflies and nature.
- Butterfliers have a chance to socialize and have fun.
Members of Nature London, West Elgin Nature Club, and other participants hold their annual butterfly count in the Skunk’s Misery area northwest of London. Members of the public are welcome; experience is not necessary. The full day outing, usually on the first Sunday in July, involves a lunch break at a nearby park and a potluck BBQ afterwards. There is a nominal fee. Detailed information can usually be found in the Spring edition of The Cardinal or the Nature London Events Calendar.
Monarch Butterfly on Swamp Milkweed