Elsberry will join approximately 490 other locations in the United States, Canada and Mexico for the 39th Annual North American Butterfly Association (NABA) Count. The event will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, July 13, at the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Plant Materials Center (PMC), located at 2803 N. Highway 79, on the south edge of Elsberry.
Allen Casey, assistant manager of the PMC, says volunteers are needed to spread out in all directions from the PMC to count butterflies within a 15-mile-wide circle.
“Butterflies and their relationship with plants and their natural environment are exciting,” Casey said. “The NABA count is a way for volunteers to help scientists monitor butterfly migration and to get a good estimate of the different species and their numbers.”
Casey said volunteers should register by calling 573- 898-2012 to assure an adequate supply of materials and handouts during the opening instruction session at the PMC. Participants are also encouraged to bring sack lunches, bug spray, binoculars, field guides, cameras and will need their own transportation.
According to Casey, knowledge of butterflies would be beneficial, but it is not necessary. Elsberry will become the sixth Missouri location for the annual butterfly counts; two in the St. Louis area (Shaw Nature Reserve and Busch Conservation Area); two in the Portageville area in southeastern Missouri (Trail of Tears State Park and Big Oak Tree State Park) and one at Bates City in the Kansas City area (Powell Gardens). The count will be an annual event at Elsberry.
“If we start the count here this year, then we need to make it an annual event in the Elsberry area to preserve the integrity of the data that are collected,” Casey said. “Volunteers also will have an opportunity to learn about the PMC and its purpose of developing plants for conservation and to see some of the pollinator projects at the center.”
For more information and directions to the PMC, contact Casey at 573-898-2012 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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