2016 UofL Butterfly Count nets 39 species

A big group of volunteer citizen scientist volunteers came out on Saturday, June 25th to participate in the annual butterfly count at University of Louisville's Horner Wildlife Sanctuary in Oldham County.
2016 UofL Butterfly Count nets 39 species

"Not only can it "net you a quick science lesson," but it's a chance to help the university, educate the public and make friends along the way, said Charles Covell, U of L biology professor emeritus and organizer of the annual count for the national butterfly census.

This year, volunteers counted 39 species and 965 individual butterflies.

The purpose of the count, Covell said, is to see how many species can be found that have survived the Kentucky winter.

The event has been happening for 38 years. During that time, 70 species have been identified with more than 32,000 butterflies tabulated. Last year, volunteers counted 1,495 butterflies from 48 species.

"It's the only one of its kind in Kentucky," Covell said. "We're the oldest one ... people are doing the count around the world."

Volunteers were broken into groups Saturday morning and count leaders taught people how to identify the butterflies that they spy in the fields.

Many of the group leaders are specialists at Kentucky Lepidopterists, a society founded in 1974 to study butterflies and moths, co-founded by Covell and Richard Henderson of Louisville."

See full story: Butterfly count [at UofL's Horner Wildlife Sanctuary] nets science lesson for kids (Courier-Journal, June 25, 2016)

See photo gallery here.