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VTLEPS  April 2007

VTLEPS April 2007

Subject:

VBS eNewsletter

From:

Vermont Butterfly Survey <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Vermont Butterfly Survey <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 27 Apr 2007 11:29:03 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (244 lines)

_______________________________________________

CHRYSALIS
The Occasional Newsletter of the Vermont Butterfly Survey
April 2006
Vol. 6 No. 2
_________________________________________________

Here's another issue of CHRYSALIS, an irregular e-mail newsletter about
the Vermont Butterfly Survey. You're getting this because you have
signed on as a VBS volunteer. If you'd rather not receive this
newsletter, please reply to this e-mail and asked to be removed from the
mailing list. If you are getting this via postal service mail and would
like to get it as an e-mail, please provide us with your email to
[log in to unmask] Thanks for joining the survey.

Kent McFarland and Bryan Pfeiffer
_________________________________________________

Contents:

1. VBS Summit 2007: Preparing for the Final Season
2. Species of Greatest Conservation Need
3. Finishing Priority Blocks
4. The VBS Email List
5. Have You Left VBS? Please Let Us Know.
6. The VBS Online Database
7. Web Page and Book Pick: Wetland, Woodland, Wildland: A Guide to the
Natural Communities of Vermont

_________________________________________________

1. VBS Summit 2007: Preparing for the Final Season

About 40 VBS volunteers gathered at VINS on Earth Day to see what we
have learned about Vermont butterflies so far and to prepare for our
much-needed work in our final field season. And, of course, we all
enjoyed a wonderful potluck meal together and dreamed of the butterflies
to come. We were not disappointed. Two species, a Mourning Cloak and the
yearís first Mustard White made appearances outside the classroom door!

For those of you that couldnít make it, here are some of the highlights.
We began the afternoon with an update on VBSís first five years.

    * 135 VBS volunteers have contributed data.
    * 22 volunteers have contributed more than 500 butterfly records each.
    * The VBS database has more than 30,000 butterfly records.

How are we doing compared to other nearby butterfly atlases?

CT (1995-99) MA (1986-90) VT (2002-06)

No. Contributors 351 154 135
Total Vouchers 8,465 7,369 10,291
No. Quads 112 (97%) 186 (100%) 184 (100%)
No. Blocks 543 (79%) 723 (65%) 556 (50%)
No. Species 110 102 101

We have over 2,700 historical butterfly records from nine museums and
five private collections in the VBS database now. Several species have
been found hidden in collections that were previously unknown in
Vermont. Three Regal Fritillary specimens collected in the 1890ís in
North Hartland were found in the Hartland Nature Club museum. This
species is extinct in Vermont and is now only found in one place east of
the Mississippi River.

We discussed what needs to be done for the last VBS field season ranked
in order.

1. Locate Species of Greatest Conservation Need throughout Vermont (see
below)

2. Finish underserved priority blocks (obtain more than 30 species for
each block) (see below)

3. Butterfly wherever you are or can. Any butterfly data is good data.

We had a nice presentation about the 16 Species of Greatest Conservation
Need in Vermont (see below). And finally, with food in hand, we went
over some tips and tricks to identification of various butterflies that
seem to always befuddle observers.

Talking butterflies, conservation and enjoying great food together was a
great way to spend an Earth Day! Everyone left buoyed with enthusiasm
for the upcoming VBS field season and dreams of beautiful Vermont days
with beautiful Vermont butterflies, and hopes that it stays that way.

________________________________________________

2. Species of Greatest Conservation Need

VBS volunteers learned about the ďSweet 16Ē during the VBS Butterfly
Summit. We discussed identification, natural history and conservation
problems that these butterflies face.

What are species of greatest conservation need? *Vermont**'s Wildlife
Action Plan* is a proactive examination of the health of Vermont's
wildlife. It is chock-full of prescribed actions to conserve wildlife
and vital habitat before they become rarer and more costly to protect.
The Action Plan was created by pooling the knowledge of the people who
know Vermont's wildlife best: the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department and
the representatives of more than 60 local, state and national agencies,
sportsmen and conservation groups, academics, land managers and other
wildlife experts. The first three years of VBS data was invaluable for
determining which butterfly species should be included as species of
greatest conservation need and really represents our first conservation
success story! You can read all about the plan at
http://www.vtfishandwildlife.com/SWG_home.cfm.

We are developing short informational pages for each of the species on
our web site with tips on how you might find these species, their host
plants, habitats and other natural history, as well as links to other
pages with useful information. Visit the page at
http://www.vinsweb.org/vbs/species.htm and learn about the Sweet 16 as
we develop these informational pages. Check back often as we will
continual add and update the information here.

Many of us are probably not far from a habitat that might be the home of
one or more of these Sweet 16! Armed with natural history knowledge, we
can all hope to find some new colonies!

________________________________________________

3. Finishing the Priority Blocks

Our second goal for the final field season is to attempt to get at least
30 species vouchered from each of the 184 priority blocks. Is your block
finished? Can you help with another block? Check out our web page at
http://www.vinsweb.org/vbs/effort.htm.

Here you will be able to:

1. Determine how many species have been reported in any block

2. Pick another block. We are encouraging everyone to claim an
underserved block if they can. Or, even just stake claim to a few visits
to a block at a certain time of the season. Drop us an email at
[log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]> and let us know. We are keeping
track of all this so everyone knows when a block may be covered so we
can best spread everyone around for the most coverage possible. You can
view the claims on our web page at
http://www.vinsweb.org/vbs/blockclaim.htm.

We are finding that on average, it can take about 10 visits to a block
to get over 30 species. So try to maximize your site visits to these
blocks. We know you're busy. So if you've only got limited number of
days available to devote to butterflies this season, here's a suggestion
on when to get out in order to find the most species in the least amount
of time. Of course, we offer this advice with some trepidation because
we believe butterflies are homage to slowing down and an excuse to get
outside any day the sun shines. But if your time is limited, here's when
to get out there for the best bang:

*1) Early June:* The first week in June allows you to find much of
what's already been flying this season, including Mustard White, azures,
and overwintering adults.

*2) Late June:* Skippers begin to fly in force.

*3) Early to Mid July:* More skippers, lots of fritillaries,
hairstreaks, Satyrs.

*5) Mid August*: The late skippers (Common Branded and Leonard's),
lingering brush-footed butterflies, Orange Sulphur and others.

_________________________________________________

4. The VBS Email List

If you donít subscribe to VTLEPS, hereís a bit of what youíve been missing:

- News about the first Mourning Cloaks and Compton Tortoiseshells of 2007
- A Green Comma sighting from this January!
- Alerts on whatís will be flying soon near you
- Opportunities to get out butterflying with other VBS participants
(including, if youíre desperate, Kent and Bryan)

In short, we canít emphasize enough the importance of this email list.
In our final year of the project, with lots to accomplish and
coordinate, VTLEPS is perhaps our most effective means of quick
communication. We assure you wonít be overwhelmed with email. So please
sign up now at http://list.uvm.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A0=VTLEPS

Thanks.
_________________________________________________

5. Have you left VBS?

If you donít think youíll be able to do any more survey work (we hope
not) PLEASE take a few minutes to gather and return any of your unused
voucher cards and glassine envelopes. Drop us a quick email so we donít
send you materials for this season. We need them back. You can mail them
to:

Kent McFarland
Vermont Institute of Natural Science

Conservation Biology Department
6565 Woodstock Rd.
PO Box 1281
Quechee, VT 05059
[log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>

Thanks.
_________________________________________________

6. VBS Online Database

The VBS online database should be updated within the next two weeks. We
had a lot of late and last minute data turned in by volunteers (late
data is far better than none!!) so we are just finishing up some data
entry and verification. Check frequently at
http://www.vinsweb.org/vbs/projectdata.htm.

_________________________________________________

7. WEB PAGE AND BOOK PICK

Wetland, Woodland, Wildland: A Guide to the Natural Communities of Vermont

This book describes the eight biophysical regions and the 80 natural
community types recognized in Vermont. This 456 page paperback book may
be purchased from bookstores. The full reference is: Wetland, Woodland,
Wildland: A Guide to the Natural Communities of Vermont. E.H. Thompson
and E.R. Sorenson. 2000 and 2005. Published by The Nature Conservancy
and Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, distributed by University
Press of New England. ISBN 1-58465-077-X, $24.95

An electronic version can be found here:
http://www.vtfishandwildlife.com/books.cfm?libbase_=Wetland,Woodland,Wildland

___________________________________________________

Vermont Butterfly Survey
Vermont Institute of Natural Science
Conservation Biology Department
6565 Woodstock Rd.
PO Box 1281
Quechee, VT 05059
802-359-5001 x234
http://www.vinsweb.org/vbs

Visit the CBD Blog: http://www.vinsweb.org/cbd/news.html

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