Big Backyard Butterfly Count

Viewing 10 replies - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • Author
    Replies
  • #45709

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    That’s great, Dean. Thanks so much – look forward to receiving information from you.

    #45708

    deanwalker
    Participant

    Hi Jacqui, I am currently working for DoC in Nelson as part of the Great White Butterfly eradication programme. Each day I, along with 24 or so others head off into the field searching for GWBs or evidence of. Last week I started noting other species of butterflies, the results of I will send to you. We only spend about 10 minutes on each property so this doesn’t fit with your 1 hour survey time, but I thought that you may be interested in my findings anyway.The programme runs until December 11th but I have another job which will probably start before then.

    Cheers Dean

    #45540

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    There are squares beside each butterfly for you to write the total number in. Your second point is covered in the preamble, basically you don’t total up how many butterflies you see over the course of an hour, just how many of that species you see at any one time.

    For example, Margaret has just done her BBBC. She actually could have written in a total of 8 monarchs but this could have been the same monarch over and over again. At one time she saw four monarchs so the result for her sheet was ‘4’.

    Sadly, the guy who designed this project is not available for the next two weeks to comment on the BBBC (Brian Patrick, author of Butterflies of the South Pacific) as he’s on the West Coast (no doubt doing his own surveys there in the course of his work). He would be the best person to answer these comments.

    #45539

    Caryl
    Participant

    Jacqui, I think there is another flaw in the butterfly count – how do we ascertain whether it’s the same butterfly we are seeing over the hour? Very hard to tell when they are flying – much easier when the female is laying her eggs and we are nearby. Caryl

    #45538

    Caryl
    Participant

    Jacqui, Where is the form to enter the details on. i can only find the butterfly images and the mailer form. Thanks. Caryl

    #45536

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    That would be good, Charlotte, to have more feedback. I am no scientist and Allan may well be right. But if we record negative sightings now it will be a good indication to the scientist that there’s something wrong with the inquiry method too.

    I still have females flying around from the overwintering generation. Lots of pupae of monarchs and a few admirals but no adults yet, so my count would be negative today if I was to do the count today.

    If you like, I could get some forms printed for your group – let me know if you’d like some.

    #45535

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Caryl, thinking more on this, if you submit the count now (between 10-30 Nov) and it’s low, then you could also report in to mb.org.nz what the population is, say twice a week as it builds up, noting in the “Description” roughly how many adults are flying around. This will provide more feedback for a change of timing with the next Count.

    Someone else has commented that students are doing exams at this time, so won’t be participating, which is another good point.

    #45532

    Charlotte
    Participant

    We intend on discussing this at our butterfly meeting on Saturday.
    I know Allan’s views on it and he seems to think that we wont get an accurate count unless it is done at an exact time for everyone.
    So I will post back here after our meeting on the weekend 🙂

    #45524

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Hi Caryl

    Your thoughts are noted and it would be interesting to hear from others on this point too.

    Thanks for expressing them!

    #45522

    Caryl
    Participant

    Jackie, I don’t think it’s a good time for this count. Seems that in most of NZ, for example, winter over female monarchs are still laying eggs. I have hundreds of caterpillars but they won’t become butterflies for weeks. I predict the count will be disappointingly low and not a true reflection of the state of butterfly populations in NZ.

Viewing 10 replies - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.