VANCOUVER | TRADITIONAL, UNCEDED TERRITORIES OF THE xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (MUSQUEAM), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (SQUAMISH) AND səlilwətaɬ (TSLEIL-WAUTUTH) FIRST NATIONS — The David Suzuki Foundation’s Butterflies in My Backyard (BIMBY) citizen science project is recruiting volunteers to help find butterflies in British Columbia.
BIMBY is an ongoing effort to track the abundance and diversity of butterflies in B.C. If you live in the province, love butterflies and enjoy hanging out in nature, this project is for you.
From February 28 to March 14, the David Suzuki Foundation will recruit volunteers to help document butterfly species in their communities starting in April.
In an April webinar, BIMBY volunteers will be trained to use iNaturalist (an app that allows people to identify plant, animal and insect species with smartphones and record information for researchers and other citizen scientists). Volunteers will then meet monthly from May to September. School participants will be invited to join a schoolyard BIMBY Bioblitz in June.
Keen volunteers will also be trained to document butterflies along specific walking routes during the season.
If you are interested to joining the BIMBY project, please fill out the registration form at davidsuzuki.org/bimby
More than 160 Lower Mainland volunteers joined the project in 2021, making hundreds of observations and documenting 47 butterfly species in Metro Vancouver. This year, the BIMBY project will recruit volunteers from throughout the province.
The B.C.–based citizen science campaign is hosted by the David Suzuki Foundation on the iNaturalist platform, in partnership with UBC zoologist Michelle Tseng and UBC Botanical Garden associate director Tara Moreau.
According to UBC’s E-Fauna B.C. website, at least 184 butterfly species can be found in the province, the most diverse in the country. Tseng says the latest data also show 10 of 19 endangered insects in B.C. are butterflies.
Like other wild pollinators, butterflies in B.C. are threatened by pesticides, climate change and habitat loss. The BIMBY project team hopes the data collected in 2022 will help present a clearer picture of B.C. butterfly health and help inform conservation efforts.
According to Moreau, apart from using citizen science to create a baseline and document butterfly abundance and diversity in B.C., it is important “to see how this work can help to halt the loss of biodiversity and prevent extinction of species in B.C. These are the big global biodiversity goals for the next decade, and it would be great to showcase how we can connect baselining butterflies to halting their extinction.”
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