Now in its third year in 2018, Nevada Bugs & Butterflies is excited to continue and expand 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.
In this program, volunteers monitor the same site (around 1-1.5 miles long) at least 6 times a summer, measuring butterfly abundance (how many) and diversity (which species are present). Each survey takes approximately 60-90 minutes. The volunteers then input data into a national database. To guide volunteers, Nevada Bugs offers annual workshops about the program basics– butterfly biology, monitoring protocols, data reporting, and local butterfly identification.
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. 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.
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! It can also be the perfect addition to your birding or botany hobbies. We’ll give you all the resources you need to succeed, whether you’re familiar with butterflies or not. 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 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.
2018 course information is below. Email Kevin (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information and to register for the course!
2018 Training details
(For more information, contact us by email!)
Training times (only need to attend one): Saturday, April 28th and Sunday, May 6th, both 1-5pm.
We’re also offering a ‘field demonstration day’ to work more on field identification of butterflies on Saturday, June 9th, location and time TBD.
Location: The University of Nevada, Reno, Museum of Natural History laboratory, Room 300G
The museum is located on the third floor of Fleischmann Agriculture, on the south end of 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 the building at the south end under the breezeway and take the stairs to the 3rd floor; museum will be on your left.
- The Butterfly Network— The home site for all butterfly monitoring projects in North America
- Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)— a citizen-based compilation of butterfly and moth sightings across the U.S.; also provides county and state-wide checklists
- PollardBase— Home page for other Pollard-based monitoring programs, including the NBMN (only useful for PollardBase members, not a public site)
- Discover Life Butterflies— A selective key to identifying butterflies