A brief update and the launch of eButterfly

This is a brief update of Maritimes Butterfly happenings. The 2011 data submitted to date has all been organized but it is still being analyzed. It won’t be available on the website until mid May. I’ll send out a Newsletter when the 2011 data is posted, so stay tuned!

I’m very excited to announce the launch of eButterfly, a nationwide butterfly records databasing project similar to eBird. This online endeavour allows butterfly enthusiasts to record, map, track and share their butterfly observations (photographs, specimens, or sightings), and to explore the records submitted by others. Check out eButterfly at http://www.ebutterfly.ca.

The Maritimes Butterfly Atlas (MBA) is collaborating with eButterfly. All photograph and specimen records from Maritimes submitted to eButterfly will contribute to the MBA database.

eButterfly’s data entry portal has been designed to be compatible with the MBA, so if you have been submitting your data through the MBA’s online data entry portal you’ll hopefully find eButterfly easy to use. In a lot of ways eButterfly’s data entry portal is superior to the MBA’s portal. You can click on a Google Map to indicate your location, you can save sites you’ve visited previously, and you can upload your photos directly on the site.

All Maritimes records submitted to eButterfly are going to be confirmed by either Jim Edsall or myself. Confirmations will be ongoing, so you’ll get much more rapid feedback on the identifications of the photos you submit. The existing MBA data portal will remain operational, but I encourage all of you to submit your records through the eButterfly portal.

Please note that for records to be accepted by the MBA you must submit either a photograph or a specimen. This ensures the MBA’s dataset is of the highest possible quality. Sight records submitted to eButterfly will not be incorporated into the MBA database.

This weekend looks pretty good weather-wise for much of the Maritimes, so keep your eyes out for butterflies! Commas, tortoiseshells, and Mourning Cloaks will all be flying. There were some Mourning Cloak sightings reported on the Listservs during the warm spell in March, but there haven’t been any 2012 atlas records to date.

Cheers,
John Klymko
Director – Maritimes Butterfly Atlas

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