Richmond's 'citizen scientists' asked to help during National Pollinator Week

National Pollinator Week kicks off next Monday, June 22 and the David Suzuki Foundation’s Butterflyway Project is inviting B.C. “citizen scientists” to help identify — and protect — local butterfly species.

Since early March, 86 new “Butterflyway Rangers” have joined the project, including from Richmond, Vancouver, Richmond, the District of North Vancouver, Burnaby, South Surrey and West Vancouver.

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More than 200 Lower Mainland Butterflyway Rangers have participated since 2017.

Everyone can take part in the foundation's BIMBY (Butterflies in my backyard) project. District of North Vancouver volunteer Butterflyway Ranger Stephen Deedes-Vincke leads the initiative. People can submit butterfly photos to iNaturalist, a free app that identifies species.

Rangers also work with Tara Moreau, associate director of sustainability and community programs at the UBC Botanical Garden. Moreau helps them analyze butterfly species and the plants they depend on.

“Monitoring local species and understanding their abundance over time is essential to supporting biodiversity and managing our landscapes in a changing climate,” Moreau said.

June is also National Indigenous History Month. Through the rest of summer, B.C. Rangers will work on Indigenous pollinator plant gardens. In fall, their plantings and stories will be compiled into an illustrated map.

Métis herbalist and educator Lori Snyder joined B.C.-based Butterflyway activities in 2019 and has been integral to the Indigenous pollinator plant map initiative. Snyder will host the Stanley Park Ecology Centre’s Backyard Pollinator webinar on June 23.

For more information on where butterflyway plantings are, click here

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