Sunday, July 21, 2024
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Kilmarnock

Butterfly count records 38 different species in the lower Northern Neck

An American Lady Butterfly on native coneflower with native skullcap in background. Photo by Betsy Washington

KILMARNOCK—On July 30, the Northern Neck Chapter of the Virginia Master Naturalists sponsored a butterfly count for Northumberland and Lancaster counties.

“I was hoping we would see at least 20 species but we nearly doubled that number and observed over 800 individual butterflies,” said Certified Master Naturalist and organizer Jeffery Wright. “The count was a citizen science adventure conducted following the protocol of the North American Butterfly Association (NABA), a non-profit membership group focusing on increasing public enjoyment and conservation of butterflies.”

Since 1993, the NABA has been organizing annual butterfly counts throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico. About 450 counts were held last year with more added this year. The goal is to get interested people to record butterfly species and abundance data every year from the same area so that…

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