The North American Butterfly Association has conducted its Butterfly Count Program in the United States, Canada, and Mexico since 1993. Local counters try to find and identify all the butterflies observed within a 15-mile diameter count circle in a one-day period. This data is compiled and published to help researchers stay on top of information like geographical distribution and relative population sizes of the species counted. Comparisons of the results over time is used to monitor changes in butterfly populations and study the effects of weather and habitat change on North American butterflies.
This Friday, July 13th from 10 a.m. to noon, representatives from the Edison & Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers will participate in the count. Teams of butterfly spotters will gather in locations in Fort Myers and Cape Coral, including at the estates, and volunteers are needed in all locations. We’re joined by Debbie Hughes, she’s the senior horticulturist at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates.