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    Add Your Alpine Butterfly Observations to the e-Butterfly Database

    Alpine zone / © K.P. McFarland

    Alpine zone / © K.P. McFarland

    Thousands of people just like you hike the miles of trails in the alpine zone. Whether you are hiking hut to hut, just out for a day hike, or visiting via the Mount Washington Auto Road, you can add valuable observations to our database by photographing and counting the butterflies you encounter as you hike and submitting your observations to e-Butterfly.


    A real-time, online checklist program, e-Butterfly is providing a new way for the butterfly community to report, organize, and access information about butterflies in North America. Launched in 2013, e-Butterfly provides rich data sources for basic information on butterfly abundance,  distribution, and phenology at a variety of spatial and temporal scales across North America.

    e-Butterfly is maximizing the utility and accessibility of the vast numbers of butterfly observations, photographs, and collections made each year by recreational and professional butterfly enthusiasts. With your help, we will amass one of the largest and fastest-growing insect data resources to inform our understanding of ecological and agricultural systems in North America.

    Through time, each participant, each observation, each checklist, and each verification builds the database. e-Butterfly then shares this treasure trove of butterfly data with a global community of citizen scientists, educators, lepidopterists, conservationists, and land managers. In time, this information will become the foundation for a better understanding of butterfly distribution and population trends across North America and beyond.

    How Does It Work?

    e-Butterfly documents the presence or absence of species as well as abundance through checklist data. A web interface engages participants to submit their observations through interactive questions and answers. e-Butterfly encourages users to participate repeatedly by providing tools to maintain their personal observations and photo records as well as providing tools to enable them to visualize  data with interactive maps, graphs, and bar charts. All these features are currently available in English and French with Spanish coming soon.

    Members of e-Butterfly simply log into their accounts and enter when, where, and how they saw butterflies. Then they are prompted to fill out a checklist of all the butterflies seen, photographed, or collected during the outing. e-Butterfly provides several options for data gathering including point counts, transects, and area searches. Regional experts review all submissions before they enter the database as a viable record. Taxonomic experts review unusual records that are flagged by the regional experts.