Nevada Bugs and Butterflies is a science education non-profit in Reno, Nevada. This year we’re excited to create a new program that will monitor butterfly populations in the Sierra Nevada and Great Basin regions, something we’re calling the Nevada Butterfly Monitoring Network. This program uses an area’s residents to collect valuable data on butterfly diversity at the same site multiple times over the course of the summer. Over time, these data can be used to understand the effects of habitat change, climate fluctuations, and other influences on butterfly populations.
Nevada contains many unique and fragile habitats that are home to over 200 species of butterflies. These insects are tightly tied to the health of the landscape, relying on a diversity of plants to eat as caterpillars and for nectar as adults. Many of them have small ranges limited to specific areas of the Great Basin. However, we currently have very little standardized data regarding butterfly diversity or abundance over time for our state, despite evidence for widespread butterfly declines in neighboring California. The NBMN will be a part of the North American Butterfly Monitoring Network, filling a huge void in this type of data for the inter-mountain West.
In order to kick off the program this summer, we’re having two training sessions on May 1 and 15 about the program basics– butterfly biology, monitoring protocols, data reporting, and local butterfly identification. In addition to the monitoring network, we’ll also touch base on a few other butterfly citizen science programs that you can participate in, including iNaturalist, the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project and the Pieris Project. In short, it’s a comprehensive look into the ways you can help contribute to butterfly conservation in your own back yard.
This program is a great opportunity for brand new or experienced amateur naturalists out there who already love visiting your favorite spots over and over! We’ll give you all the resources you need to succeed, whether you’re familiar with butterflies or not. Each monitoring period takes as little as 30-40 minutes, and it’s a perfect way to complement your birding or botany skills.
RSVP to Kevin by April 28th!
(For more information, contact us by email!)
Training times (only need to attend one): Sunday, May 1st, 1-5pm & Sunday, May 15th, 1-5pm.
We’re also offering a ‘field demonstration day’ to work more on field identification of butterflies on Saturday, June 11th, location and time TBD.
Location: The University of Nevada, Reno, Museum of Natural History
The museum is located on the third floor of Fleischmann Agriculture, on the south end of the UNR campus at E. 9th St. & Record St. University metered spots are free on weekends, and there are several of these in the south and east Fleischmann Agriculture parking lots. There is also streetside parking available on E. 9th St. and Evans Ave. Enter Fleischmann at the south end under the breezeway and take the stairs to the 3rd floor; museum will be on your left.