The Illinois Butterfly Monitoring Network engages citizen scientists in the process of collecting quantitative data on butterfly populations. Their goal is to provide data collected with a standardized protocol that allows land managers to evaluate long-term trends in a changing landscape. The Network also offers opportunities for fellowship, mentorship, and continuing education between citizen scientists and professional biologists.
Matteson, K.C., D.J. Taron, E.S. Minor. 2012. Assessing citizen contributions to butterfly monitoring in two large cities. Cons. Biol. 26:557-564. This comparison between species composition trends between Chicago (a transect-based monitoring system) and New York (NABA’s Sightings program, an opportunistic system) showed that using two different approaches to collecting citizen-science data, similar patterns were recovered in two major urban environments. The figure to left shows similar patterns of commonness and rarity in both locations (although Chicago showed more common species overall). Importantly, when controlling for effort, programs recovered similar representation from the local species pool, suggesting that different monitoring methods are able to recover community composition patterns.
Saunders, S.P., L. Ries, K.S. Oberhauser, and E.F. Zipkin. 2016. Evaluating confidence in population-level predictions from climate impacts: Summer abundances of the monarch butterfly. Global Ecology and Biogeography
Ries, L., Taron, D.J., Rendon-Salinas, E. 2015. The Disconnect Between Summer and Winter Monarch Trends for the Eastern Migratory Population: Possible Links to Differing Drivers. Annals of the Entomological Society.
Ries, L., K. Oberhauser, D. Taron, E. Rendon-Salinas. 2015. Connecting eastern monarch population dynamics across their migratory cycle. In (K. Oberhauser, ed.) Monarchs in a changing world: Biology and conservation of an iconic insect. Cornell University Press. Ithaca, NY.