On Tuesday, July 5th, fifteen volunteers and interns came to MPG for the annual Fourth of July Butterfly Count. This is a citizen-science event registered with the North American Butterfly Association (NABA). The data collected during these counts, which occur through North America, yield information about butterfly species distributions and their relative population sizes.
Cool temperatures early in the day made the butterflies sluggish. We worried that this would keep them from flying and make them difficult to count. But the group persisted, and as the day warmed, more and more of the little insects grew active and took flight.
The participants counted butterflies at three sites: two on the summit of Baldy Mountain, and one in the Woodchuck Creek drainage.
This fresh Milbert’s Tortoiseshell butterfly was a nice find on the top of Mount Baldy.
Marirose graduated with a BA in biology with an emphasis in botanical science from the University of Montana, Missoula. She gained experience in botany working as a field technician for the Forest Service, non-profits, and the university. She has also worked as a lab technician in a salmon and trout genetics lab, and has organized environmental education classes for local homeschooled children.
Marirose works as a botanist for MPG Ranch where she performs vegetation surveys and conducts a pollinator monitoring program. She lives in a little hand-built cabin in the woods with her husband and their four young children who keep them very, very busy.