Are you a butterfly enthusiast?
You are not alone. There's an active community of butterfly observers in Ontario and we want to hear from you!
If you've been poking around this website, it's a fair bet that you're already interested in butterflies. Perhaps you've seen some of the species featured here around your neighborhood. You might be surprised to know that there are folks out there (myself included) who are keen to have you report your sightings.
The Ontario Butterfly Atlas is built on thousands of records that have been submitted over decades, often by folks like you! You don't necessarily need to be an expert, and you don't have to contact the Altas compilers directly. eButterfly provides an easy way to enter your observations into a large database where they will be available for a variety of research projects. Periodically, records for Ontario are ported from eButterfly to the Ontario Butterfly Atlas. If you look at the top level map for "any species" in the Atlas, you'll see a lot of "empty" squares, especially in the North. No one has ever reported any butterfly observations for these squares. Maybe you live in or visit one of these areas. Being the first person to report observations for an Atlas square won't make you famous, but your observations can help us get a more complete picture of where various butterfly species can be found. Please remember that the Atlas exists because people like you took the time to share their observations. The compilers and developers also put in a colossal amount of work to bring it all together in a user friendly format.
If you don't live in Ontario, it's even more important that you submit your observations to eButterfly so that similar resources can be developed for the other provinces. Atlases for some other provinces have already been created ( see Links ), and others are in the works, but these atlases will need data. You can help! And a new version of eButterfly that includes the USA has just been made available!
Follow these links to find out how you can get involved:
Another way to get involved is through one of the following email lists:
( links to other regional lists are available on my Links page )
Folks on these lists keep each other up to date on what's flying in their area, share tips on butterfly hotspots, and answer each other's questions. You don't have to be an expert to join! Just click on the links above to get more info on how you can participate.
And you can always participate through your local Field Naturalist Club. I've provided links to websites for a number of clubs from across Ontario on my Links page.