Why should we monitor butterflies?
This charismatic and well-known group is an excellent entry point for enjoying nature, exploring science and learning about conservation and agriculture. Butterflies serve an important role in various landscapes: they are herbivores, pollinators and food for other species. There are over 800 butterfly species in North America north of Mexico, living in rural and urban environments. Because of previous efforts by citizen scientists, we have a strong understanding of hostplant affiliations, seasonality, overwintering habits, and ecological interactions. Monitoring butterflies can tell us a tremendous about general changes, both good and bad, across an every changing continent.