Updated: Jul 30
The Carden Alvar Dragonfly and Butterfly count was a great success, completing its 24th official year. We had enthusiastic, nature-loving people excited about participating in the count. The format was changed this year due to Covid-19 so teams of 2-3 people were assigned designated areas within the Alvar boundary. With social distancing in place, our team of 2 and, one guest on Thursday and another guest on Friday, went out into the field and observed 13 species of damselflies/dragonflies and 18 species of butterflies. We know our name won't be going on the trophy this year and we won't have bragging rights but the experience was both rewarding and educational.
One team observed 30 butterfly species and 25 dragonfly/damselfly species. WOW! We also had a family team, with children aged 10 & 12, learning how to identify these insects. What a great age to introduce children to this activity.
All count numbers, from each team, will be recorded and submitted to official count reporting centers and added to their databases. The counts provide important information about the health of these beautiful insects and the condition of our environment. Dragonflies and butterflies are a key part of the food chain as predators and prey and are essential pollinators.
Next year's count will be held on Saturday, July 17 and Sunday, July 18, 2021. We hope to meet as a group each morning and then head out to our designated areas. We will be offering on-site camping for one and two nights.
This activity is great for all ages, from children wanting to see and learn about butterflies to naturalists who have a passion for sustaining our environment. From novices in the field to biodiversity scientists, all are welcome. It is a wonderful opportunity to make a genuine contribution.
We have included photos of dragonflies and butterflies observed. Our thanks to Ken MacDonald from Midland, Ontario for contributing the photos. Ken is a very talented photographer and has a lot of knowledge regarding these wonderful insects!
Great Spangled Fritillary Banded Hairstreak
Halloween Pennant Northern Spreadwing