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Master Naturalists monitoring butterfly populations

Middle Peninsula Master Naturalist volunteers are teaming up with the Northern Neck Master Naturalists and the Northern Neck Audubon Society to participate in the North American Butterfly Association’s annual Butterfly Count program.

The Butterfly Count has been gathering data in the United States, Canada and Mexico since 1993. The counts compile all of the butterfly species observed at sites within a 15-mile-diameter circle in one day. The annually published reports provide useful information to scientists about the geographical distribution and relative population sizes of the species counted. Comparisons of the results across years can be used to monitor changes in butterfly populations and study the effects of weather and habitat change on North American butterflies.

Middle Peninsula Master Naturalist and Gloucester resident Susan Crockett volunteers as a sector leader for the counts, managing where volunteers will be counting and how they collect and submit their data. ...

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