Insects

Butterfly

The number of insects in the world has an estimated count of 900,000, representing roughly 80% of the world’s species. They have important jobs to do such as pollination, decomposition, and providing food for other creatures. Because of the different functions they may have in an ecosystem, insects make great bioindicators, revealing if there is poor water quality, showing if there is a change in habitat, or a loss of biodiversity.

 

Upcoming Citizen Science Opportunities

Firefly Watch
Tuesday, July 18 | 8:30pm – 9:30pm
Wednesday, July 26 | 8:00pm – 10:00pm (paired with Moth Watch)
Thursday, August 3 | 8:00pm – 9:00pm

Fireflies light up our summer nights. Unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly difficult to spot these fascinating insects. Learn how to identify and count fireflies in your own backyard for this important yet simple Citizen Science project. Help researchers learn more about our firefly populations, distribution, and the environmental factors affecting firefly habitats. Perfect for families of all ages!
Registration is required. To register call 414-352-2880 x0.
Free with membership or admission. 

Moth Watch
Wednesday, July 26 | 8:00pm – 10:00pm
Schlitz Audubon will participate in the National Moth Week Citizen Science survey and you can help.  We will learn how moths differ from their daytime cousins, butterflies, and why they are so important to have them in the ecosystem. We will go outside to visit bait trees and an ultraviolet light station to see what creatures may be living here at the Center.
Registration is required. To register call 414-352-2880 x0.
Free with membership or admission. 

All About Monarchs
Saturday, September 16 | 10:00am – 11:30am
Families with young children can be Citizen Scientists, too! Learn about the life cycle and migration of monarchs in an interactive, child-friendly way, then venture out with nets and tags to participate in an international Monarch study. We will also have time to color a paper Monarch to send to Mexico as part of the Symbolic Migration Project shared with Mexican school children. Each family will receive a tagging kit to take home.
Registration is required. To register call 414-352-2880 x0.
Free with membership or admission. 

Monarchs and Migration
Saturday, September 16 | 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Learn about the life cycle, threats and programs that support these amazing butterflies.  We will also venture out with nets and tags to participate in an international Monarch study.  
Registration is required. To register call 414-352-2880 x0.
Free with membership or admission. 

 

Monarch Butterflies at the Center

Schlitz Audubon has undertaken massive land rehabilitation efforts over the past few decades. This includes planting native prairie flowers for adult monarchs and milkweed for caterpillars. Volunteers have participated in Monarch tagging programs. These numbered tags, once found, help inform scientists about migratory patterns of Monarch Butterflies.

 

At Your Home

One of the best things anyone can do to provide Monarch Butterfly habitat is to plant milkweed in their yard. Caterpillars munch exclusively on milkweed and planting this provides them with vital sustenance. For a more in-depth exploration of Monarch information, read the feature article in our summer 2015 edition of Panorama.

For more regional information visit Wisconsin Butterflies.

 

Bees

To learn about helping bees in your yard, read the Center’s Summer 2016 Panorama feature article about Backyard Beekeeping.

 

Future Insect Monitoring Projects

As resources permit, the Center is looking to include Dragonflies, Ladybugs, and Bumblebees in future citizen science projects.  If you are interested in participating in or assisting these, please contact Brooke Gilley.

 

Resources

In the Center’s Shop

Schlitz Audubon’s shop carries a rotating variety of books relating to insects and their relatives, such as the below titles:

National Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects & Spiders
Field Guide to Butterflies of North America by Jim P. Brock & Kenn Kaufman
Dragonflies of the North Woods by Kurt Mead

Electronic Resources

Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation | Established in 1971, the Society is at the forefront of invertebrate protection worldwide, harnessing the knowledge of scientists and the enthusiasm of citizens to implement conservation programs.
The Great Sunflower Project | Identifying where pollinators need help and helping.
e-Butterfly | eButterfly is an international, data driven project dedicated to butterfly biodiversity, conservation, and education.

 

Citizen Science at the Center

Birds
Plants
Amphibians, Reptiles, and Fish
Insects
Water
Mammals