Except for the odd Monarch or Painted Lady that may still linger (both those were seen today by Derek Bridgehouse in Eastern Passage,) the butterfly season is finished. The end of the 2014 field season marks an important milestone for the Maritimes Butterfly Atlas – the end of the field portion of the project!
Over the past five seasons (2010-2014) atlassers have made an enormous effort to catalogue our butterflies. So far over 20,000 records have been submitted by more than 350 volunteers, and once all the 2014 data is tabulated the number of records will likely exceed 25,000. There have been numerous highlights during the course of the Atlas. Three species new to the Maritimes were recorded: Crossline Skipper (NB), Ocola Skipper (NB), and Peacock (NS). In addition, seven species were added to provincial lists (PEI: Eastern Comma; New Brunswick: American Snout, Fiery Skipper, Giant Swallowtail; Nova Scotia: Dorcas Copper, Eastern Tailed-Blue). And then there are all the new locations for rare species!
Now that the field component is complete, attention will turn to developing a final product. The plan is to publish the final Atlas results in a book in two or three years. As in past years, a newsletter highlighting the season’s findings will be released next spring.
Data collected in 2014, or any of the previous Atlas years, can be submitted at your convenience, though it would be appreciated if it were in by the end of February (thank you to all who have their data in already). If you have butterfly data that predates the Atlas then please contact me.
A huge thank you goes out to all of you who have participated in the project! The results to date have far exceeded initial expectations, and the 2014 data isn’t even compiled yet!
Director – Maritimes Butterfly Atlas
Atlantic Canada Conservation Data Centre
PO Box 6416, Sackville, NB E4L 1G6