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Research Projects: 
Insects, Soils, Plants and Invasion

Twenty-one people participated in the third annual MPG Ranch Fourth of July Butterfly Count as part of a long-term, citizen-science butterfly monitoring program through the North American Butterfly Association (NABA). Observations from our one-day count contribute to data about the distribution and relative population sizes of butterfly species, and how they may change over time. I led volunteers to Mount Baldy and Davis Creek. Jeff Pippen led volunteers to Woodchuck Creek, Whaley Draw, and the Bitterroot River floodplain. Despite covering more territory this year, we noticed fewer butterflies and had a smaller overall species count than in previous years.
We net butterflies when they present an identification challenge, or to provide participants with an opportunity to observe a butterfly’s field markings. In the photo above, Kristi DuBois and I examine a butterfly she caught on Mount Baldy.

Brian Williams shows off two butterflies in the viewing cage.

2015 MPG Butterfly Count Species List Totals