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Amateur entomologists asked to assist with butterfly count

Jun 17, 2013 - By Andrea Novotny, Staff Writer

Participants will meet Saturday in Lander.

The Nature Conservancy's sixth annual Butterfly Blitz will be 9 a.m. to 4 pm. Saturday in Lander.

Ranges for many North American butterfly species are changing, and the Nature Conservancy aims to collect data in the Butterfly Blitz that will be sent to the Wyoming Natural Diversity Database and a long-term national database that will track changes.

The data will help nature conservancy groups understand what is happening in butterfly populations, including increases and decreases in populations and "what might be causing those changes," said Amy Pocewicz of the Nature Conservancy.

Participants will count butterflies and note the species, sometimes through observation and sometimes through catch and release. The Nature Conservancy will provide nets and butterfly identification books.

"Experience is not necessary," Pocewicz said. "People who have no previous experience usually learn how to identify several species."

A $3 participation fee will go toward helping the North American Butterfly Association maintain long-term national butterfly data.

The event will begin at the learning center building at Red Canyon Ranch, located 13 miles south of Lander at 350 Red Canyon Ranch Road. Directions are available on the Nature Conservancy's website.

Participants will spend the morning surveying butterflies around the Red Canyon Ranch. At 1 p.m., the group will meet at Bruce's parking lot in Sinks Canyon to survey along the Popo Agie River.

Participants are encouraged to bring a lunch, water, hats, sunscreen, butterfly nets and field guides if they have them.

Attendees can RSVP by contacting Amy Pocewicz at apocewicz@tnc.org or 335-2131.

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