Skyline Divide: let the butterfly monitoring begin

stats:

6.5 mi rt

gain: 1471 ft

max: 5871 ft

me and a bunch of butterfly people

gpx track, use at your own risk: Skyline

skyline survey ge

I am a scientist, I teach Chemistry at the local community college.  I miss field work so I have several citizen science projects I volunteer for…frogs, butterflies, land stewardship.  

butterfly transect

butterfly transect

The Cascade Butterfly Monitoring Project is looking at climate change and how it affects the butterflies in alpine and sub-alpine meadows.  Skyline is one such meadow so I visit it several times a year.  This visit was the first official survey of the season and since I live the closest, I went up ahead of the others and set up the section markers for this seasons survey.  During the surveys we do what is called a Pollard walk, this is a walk that is about the pace of a wedding march.  Our transect has five sections, each on about 0.12 mi long.  As we survey we imagine a box, 5 meters to either side, 5 meters above and in front of us.  We only count the butterflies that fly into our box.  Then if possible we catch them for positive id.  We have been trained to identify the butterflies and can normally id to species on wing (as they are flying).  By catching them we can get more specific…we of course let them go.

checkerspot

checkerspot

silvery blue

silvery blue

fritilary

fritilary

It was a beautiful Saturday and there were many others enjoying the meadows which is good!  Use it or lose it.  That said…stay out of the meadows and stay on the trails or hard surfaces please ( :

P1000079

lupine

lupine

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2 Responses to Skyline Divide: let the butterfly monitoring begin

  1. Pingback: Sky-Chow 8.26-27.15 | gambolingwithmonique

  2. Pingback: 2015 | gambolingwithmonique

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