Gateway Gazette

Waterton-Glacier Butterfly BioBlitz: Public Invited to Celebrate Canada 150 by Participating in a Butterfly Count

White Admiral

Canada 150 offers an opportunity for all citizens to get involved in helping to protect the environment and Canada’s biodiversity. The Waterton-Glacier Butterfly BioBlitz, taking place on July 10th and July 11th, is a great opportunity for families, young, old and everybody in between!

On Monday July 10th, the Butterfly BioBlitz will take place in Glacier National Park in the USA.

On Tuesday, July 11th, the Butterfly Bioblitz will take place in Waterton Lakes National Park. Join leading butterfly experts, including a butterfly guidebook author and park staff, to catch, identify and learn about butterflies in the Canadian portion of the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. This World Heritage Site is one of the most biologically diverse places in North America with many colorful, interesting and rare butterfly species. No experience necessary.  A willingness to learn about and catch butterflies is all that’s needed. Those who want to participate should meet at 11 a.m. in Waterton Lakes National Park at the Maskinonge Day Use Area to learn some basics.  Snacks and refreshments will be provided for lunch. Then it’s off with one of the five experts to various locations in the park to explore butterfly habitat, catch the butterflies with the nets supplied and after identification by the expert, release the butterflies back into the wilderness.

Mormon Fritillary

Space is limited, so those interested are encouraged to register in advance. More information and registration links for each national park are at www.parkscanada.ca/waterton-butterfly-bioblitz or phone 403-859-2224. If you are unable to register in advance, please arrive by 11:30 a.m. on July 11 to register.

Throughout 2017, Parks Canada is supporting BioBlitz Canada 150, a Canadian Heritage signature Canada 150 initiative led by the Canadian Wildlife Foundation, by hosting events across the country. BioBlitzes are fun and educational activities that let families team up with scientists to discover plant and animal species and contribute to their protection.

Please visit the Parks Canada website for a full list of BioBlitz events happening across the country, and make conservation part of your plans for Canada 150.

Over the past two years, BioBlitz participants across the country have discovered one new type of mushroom, eight types of bats, and 33 new plants!  What will YOU discover?

Small Wood Nymph

Butterfly BioBlitz Facts

  • A moth – the very colourful and relatively large sheep moth – stole the show at the 2016 Waterton Butterfly count. Waterton is the only area of Alberta where it has been found.
  • As many as 52 different species of butterflies and more than 1,380 individuals have been caught, identified and released during a single butterfly count in Waterton Lakes National Park.
  • This will be the 17th annual butterfly count in Waterton Lakes National park.
  • This will be the first butterfly count in Glacier National Park, USA and thus, our first cross-border butterfly BioBlitz.
  • The BioBlitz won’t include the critical habitat for the half-moon hairstreak butterfly in order to protect this species and its habitat, which is protected under the Canadian Species at Risk Act. Waterton is one of only three Canadian locations where this butterfly is known to occur.
Sheep Moth
Sheep Moth

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