Friday, January 11, 2008

A "Big Year" for butterflies

Why didn't I think of that? That was my reaction when my friend Clyde Kessler directed my attention to Robert Michael Pyle's project to identify as many butterflies as he could in the space of a year.

Birders have been doing variations of this challenge for decades. So far as I'm aware, Pyle is the first to try it for butterflies.

All I can say is, I wish I were him. There's a heck of a lot more butterfly species in America than birds. But it sounds like a great way to spend a year.

Read his first dispatch here

This guy is a great writer on lepidoptera, by the way. He's been studying monarchs for over half a century. Here's something he wrote about the Bt corn debate.

Is anybody inspired to try something like this here in the southern Appalachians? There are species and subspecies that occur here that are hard to find elsewhere.

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