Rowe Sanctuary’s Annual Butterfly Count will occur on June 26 at 10 am (rain-date is July 2). Participants will meet at the Iain Nicolson Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary and proceed to transects to monitor butterfly species. Participants are encouraged to wear long pants, closed toe shoes, bring sunscreen, bug spray and a water bottle. Survey requires walking longer distances in tall grass. Please RSVP to Anne Winkel @ firstname.lastname@example.org or 308-468-5282.
Why a butterfly count?
A nationwide decline in the Regal Fritillary prompted Rowe Sanctuary to create a new community science project. Though it is not a federally protected species, the Regal Fritillary is a “species of concern” at Rowe Sanctuary because they cannot survive in altered landscapes (row crop, non-native pasture, housing developments) and require a relatively non-degraded native prairie to thrive. Additionally, they do not migrate and have limited dispersal capability making these populations,” as stated by project coordinator Anne Winkel, “more susceptible to decline.
“We use this species as an indicator for other species,” said Winkel. “We assume if this species is thriving than we are providing ample habitat for other butterflies and pollinators.”