Conserving Biodiversity - Pollinators
As critical backcountry pollinators, butterflies are recognized as biodiversity indicators, and they're in decline. Researchers need our help to collect data on their abundance, diversity, and distribution in the wild. These data will be used by land managers to inform conservation decisions on public lands.
Data That Drives Change
The vast majority of wild pollinator data is collected in close proximity to urban areas. We are establishing the first large-scale backcountry dataset that identifies butterfly abundance, diversity, and distribution as well as host plant phases across remote portions of their ranges. Public land managers will use these data to inform actions such as prescribed burning, protection of threatened species, and forest planning.
Why Care About Butterflies?
Pollinators, and the ecosystems that rely on their biological services, are threatened by habitat loss, agricultural practices, and diseases.
Butterflies comprise approximately 20,000 species globally. They serve as important biodiversity indicators for ecosystem health and provide food for many organisms such as migrating birds. We are currently collecting baseline data on public lands in order to protect threatened species and conserve habitats.
What We're Doing About It
Adventure Scientists has joined forces with the University of Arizona to map butterflies and their host plants in remote areas. Our Pollinators Project is composed of two efforts, distinguished by geographies of study. In our Western US-based project, volunteers are mobilized in a summer field season to collect data in pre-selected study sites across five states. In our global study, volunteers collect butterfly observations from remote sites around the world.
We are seeking volunteer teams of trail runners, backpackers, and mountain bikers survey pre-selected backcountry sites several times a year for butterflies and wildflowers. We are currently accepting volunteer applications for sites in Arizona. In other regions, we are accepting volunteer applications for the 2018 field season (June-October). Our current focus areas are:
If you live near one of these areas and are interested in adopting a field site for the 2018 season, please considering applying.
We are expanding our pollinator data-collecting efforts to a global scale. If you are traveling to an area with suitable butterfly habitat, consider applying for our Global Pollinators Project. We are accepting observations collected from anywhere around the world, so long as the sites you choose are at least one mile from the nearest road.
Have any questions about the Pollinators Project? Check out our FAQs.