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Butterfly count set for July 7 in Oldham County

by Judy Hughes, communications and marketing last modified Jun 20, 2012 08:46 AM

Nature lovers and butterfly fans, unite – the July 7 national butterfly census awaits your help. Children and adults are welcome to join in the butterfly count expedition that day in Oldham County.

University of Louisville biology professor emeritus Charles Covell and other butterfly specialists will lead the Saturday activities at UofL’s Horner Wildlife Sanctuary.

The group called the Society of Kentucky Lepidopterists started the survey in 1976, and the count leaders will teach people how to identify the butterflies they see.

The count will be done in a defined area from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., although volunteers do not have to stay the entire time. Covell suggests that participants wear hats, hiking shoes, long pants and long-sleeved shirts and bring insect repellent, water and lunch.

Volunteer counters of all ages should meet at 9:30 a.m. at the parking lot of the now-closed Brownsboro general store and restaurant, one mile northwest of Exit 14 off Interstate 71 and about 20 miles north of Louisville. If it rains heavily, the count will be postponed until the same time Sunday, July 8, if that day's weather is clear.

Covell will supply nets but volunteers also can use cameras, binoculars and notebooks to gather information. The data will be reported to the North American Butterfly Association for its published results.

Although Covell retired from UofL in 2004, he continues to lead the annual local effort. He now works as a curator for the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera & Biodiversity in Gainesville, Fla.

Covell organized the Society of Kentucky Lepidopterists for the study of butterflies and moths in 1974. He wrote “Butterflies and Moths of Kentucky” and the 1984 Peterson “Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America.”

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