Butterfly Count Update

Aug 15, 2011


BOISE, id – Last month, we brought you the story of the Boise Front Butterfly Count.  A dedicated group of volunteers counts and catalogues butterflies in Southern Idaho.  The count happens each year in July.  Doctor Paul Castrovillo is the Butterfly Curator at the Orma J. Smith Museum of Natural History.  It’s at the College of Idaho.  He directs the Butterfly Count.

Paul Castrovillo “We go to the same spots every year and we try to find as many butterflies as we can find, as many species, as many individuals, and we keep track of that and send it in to a national database.”

Now the results are in.  A record number of volunteers counted 548 butterflies.  They tracked 44 species.  Castrovillo says the cold, wet weather brought in more “springtime” butterflies, like the Sara Orangetip and the Two-Banded Checkered Skipper.  Some of the “summer” butterflies were missing, like the Becker’s White.  Castrovillo says each year is different.

Paul Castrovillo “Some butterfly species we’ve seen every year for 20 years and we see the numbers go up and down, a lot of times we can’t really attribute it anything that we can see, you never know just exactly what you’re going to find and that’s what makes the count interesting and that’s why we continue to do the count every year.”

The most counted species this year was a white checkered butterfly known as the Variable Checkerspot.  Castrovillo sends the results to the North American Butterfly Association.  This was the Boise group’s 21st year counting butterflies.


Copyright 2011 BSPR