In a recent National Geographic newsletter, Jason Bittel reported that Monarch butterflies may be doing better than thought. This is based on a study of the data collected for the North American Butterfly Association (NABA) by citizen scientists all over the US. The study is controversial, but seems to show that in some areas, such as here in Loudoun County, planting milkweed, which Monarch caterpillars require to survive, has truly helped these insects.
Of course, the Monarch is just one of over 50 different butterfly species the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy annual butterfly count records each year. Since 1997 our data has been turned over to NABA and made available to entomologists who study butterflies. Find out more about the count, previous years’ data and how you can be a part of this event. Beginners and experts are welcome.