Butterflies are the best!
This summer we hosted our fourth annual Butterfly Blitz in the Credit River Watershed. From May 14 to September 17, participants helped create a watershed-wide inventory of butterflies by sharing their observations through iNaturalist.
This year has brought along many positive changes for the Blitz, including the return of in-person events. We hosted four in-person events throughout the 2022 program.
We held our first in-person butterfly count since 2019 at the Warwick Conservation Centre in June. We found 161 butterflies from 21 species! The data was submitted to the North American Butterfly Association to be included in their annual report.
This year’s Butterfly Blitz saw an amazing 1,586 observations made by 164 observers. Monarch and cabbage white species were the top observed species, followed by black swallowtail, little wood satyr and wild indigo duskywing. In July, it was announced that the monarch is now on the endangered species list. Recording high observations of this species in the watershed is encouraging and another reminder to plant milkweed.
We had several butterfly enthusiasts very close on the leaderboard for the most observations and most species observed. The top observers identified 231 individual butterflies and 45 individual species of butterfly in the watershed.
We also set a program record for most species found in the watershed. This year, we observed two more species than last year, bringing the new record to 67 types of butterflies: the orcas copper and the variegated fritillary. Don Scallen, an avid naturalist in the watershed, observed a dorcas copper, a rare butterfly associated with bog and fen habitats. Fen habitats are wetlands with peat moss that rely on groundwater.
We invited residents in the Credit River Watershed to participate in a photo contest. It was difficult to choose the winner out of the 55 entries, however, Terence Gui had the winning photo.
Thank you to all the citizen scientists that took part in this year’s Butterfly Blitz. The data collected will help us track trends and provide insights to protect and restore wildlife habitat in the Credit River Watershed.
Are you inspired? Join us next year.
Sign up to be the first to find out more details on how to join the 2023 Butterfly Blitz.
* Main photo: Common Wood Nymph. Photo credit: Christine Elliot, winner of the 2022 Butterfly Blitz best photo overall