The North American Butterfly Monitoring Network: Supporting butterfly research, scientific discovery, and education


Ries, Leslie


  • Poster




Citizen-scientists throughout North America perform thousands of surveys each year but, unlike in Europe, data from these monitoring programs are little known and less used. A recent workshop brought together North American butterfly data producers with representatives from the scientific and technology communities with the goal to develop systems to promote and support expanding public participation in and use of butterfly data and knowledge. Our goals were to: 1) increase recruitment and ease participation in monitoring programs, 2) standardize protocols, data, and taxonomic standards as much as possible, and 3) develop systems for data management, sharing, and visualization. This workshop resulted in the formation of a network of data providers and includes butterfly monitoring groups that currently collect several types of data: transect data based on the European “Pollard” protocols, checklist data where all species are recorded from organized field trips and include a range of protocols, opportunistic data, and a network of groups focused specifically on monitoring multiple biological stages of one butterfly species, the monarch. Based on this new network, we look forward to much greater visibility, participation, and use of butterfly monitoring data for scientific research and education.