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Join Team eButterfly!

butterflies keyboardBecome a part of the eButterfly technical team! At the Vermont Center for Ecostudies we’re hiring an applications programmer and information technology coordinator to work on eButterfly and other wildlife projects. Come to beautiful Vermont and join a team of dedicated conservation biologists and help us take eButterfly to an all new level. If you or anyone you know might be interested, please see or share our announcement.

New Mission Monarch Project Powered by eButterfly

monarch

Science, butterfly and nature buffs, and other members of the public across the country are being asked by the experts to get out and look for milkweed plants to count monarch eggs and caterpillars, then to share their findings with Mission Monarch, powered by eButterfly.

“Mission Monarch is an especially concrete example of something that can bring humankind closer to nature,” declares Charles-Mathieu Brunelle, Director of Montréal Space for Life. “We’ve made that our mission and we are pleased that this major project is giving people a chance to connect or reconnect with their natural environment, while helping to conserve this widely beloved species.”

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Vermont Butterfly Big Year Takes Flight

ButterflyingWith the help of an army of citizen scientists, the Vermont Butterfly Big Year aims to record every species of butterfly in Vermont this year. It’s a blend of science, education, competition, enjoyment, and a quest to monitor the changing nature of the state. Climate change, invasive species, habitat loss, and other environmental concerns are altering the biological diversity of Vermont. And with your help, VCE is trying to understand what this means for butterflies.

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Ten Steps to Better Butterfly Photography (new camera optional)

2015-06-26 DSC_8252_1Spring is upon us and many of us are eager to get out butterflying with our cameras in hand to bring back a piece of those jewels home and share them with our butterflying buddies. While I don’t fancy myself as an expert photographer, I sure love to photograph butterflies and other insects. I realized over time that many tricks I took for granted to approach butterflies were foreign to many naturalists especially those new to it. After sharing some tips on how to approach butterflies and better photograph them with friends and colleagues and seeing them come back with much improved results and more species than they use to find, I thought this might be helpful to share.

Here are my 10 steps to better butterfly photography. Note these tips apply to any kind of camera from a smartphone to a professional DSLR with a macro lens. It isn’t always about the camera!

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Make eButterfly Your New Year’s Resolution in 2016

Rick Cavasin photographing butterflies for eButterfly.Since its inception just a few years ago, eButterfly has grown in leaps and bounds thanks to the dedication of many butterfly watchers and professional lepidopterists. We hear from many users who tell us how eButterfly has helped them learn more about butterflies and has made their butterflying more fun and have more purpose. We also hear from many great butterfly watchers who say that they want to submit to eButterfly more often or that they “keep meaning to get started” but have yet to “take the plunge.” Together, let’s make 2016 the year without regret! Make your New Year’s resolution to use eButterfly! With all the improvements we’ve made, eButterfly is easier to use than ever. Give it a try today, for yourself, for watchers everywhere, and for the butterflies we all care about. (more…)

The Secret Weapons of Cabbages: Overcome by Butterfly Co-evolution

7699638224_c7bacaf023_zFor some of us in the north, a Cabbage White fluttering in the garden on a warm November day may be the last butterfly we see for the year. Recently, an international team of researchers has used the power of genomics to reveal the mechanisms of an ancient and ongoing arms-race between butterflies and plants, played out in countless gardens around the world as green caterpillars devour cabbage plants. This study appears 50 years after a classic paper by Paul Ehrlich and Peter Raven that formally introduced the concept of co-evolution using butterflies and plants as primary examples. The present study not only provides striking support for co-evolution, but also provides fundamentally new insights into its genetic basis in both groups of organisms.  (more…)


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