Cal-Wood Butterfly Count

Posted on Oct 1, 2015

Cal-Wood Butterfly Count

Cal-Wood Education Center is a site for Butterfly Counts which are reported nationally. For 33 consecutive years adults and children have spent a full day on July 4 walking from Mica Mine to ‘high meadow,’ and also from Solitude Point to Geier’s Meadow — all are specific places in our 1,200 acre wilderness at Cal-Wood. This year 73 species and 2,029 individual butterflies were counted. The most amazing butterfly was a Chryxus Arctic which is biennial, coming out only during ‘even numbered’ years (2012, 2014 etc). One was photographed; a most unusual emergent butterfly. Thirty-five butterfly watchers camped overnight at the Mica Mine; another 36 joined us on July 4.

We love to have the children run, net butterflies and moths and return them to leaders for stories about their life cycles and identification! We look forward to another butterfly count next summer.

Check out this report that one of our Board members, Janet Chu, prepared for the Boulder County Nature Association about changes in local butterfly populations following the September 2013 flood: 2015 BCNA Report Final

Arctic Chryxus photo by Pam Piombino

Arctic Chryxus
photo by Pam Piombino