Wednesday, August 6, 2008

strange individual(s) seen wandering the wetlands

This just in from local field scientist - Paul Severns:

So….if you see a guy, about 5 ft 7inches, 175 lbs, with dark brown hair, brown eyes, four-day old beard stubble, cargo shorts, a t-shirt that was once white, wearing a tan visor, strolling (seemingly aimless and slowly) either down the bike path or in the middle of a field, staring off in different directions, occasionally writing something down in a bright yellow notebook, don’t worry…(unless I’m muttering to myself)..I’m just doing my job studying West Eugene Wetland butterflies.this photo taken during yesterday's amble. this Great Copper is inside a 'bug toter'.

Since 2002, I’ve been working on describing the patterns of wetland butterflies and understanding why what species are where and what makes them rare. Hopefully, this information will aid in local butterfly conservation and be useful for successful wetland restoration. Right now, it’s late July/early August and it’s uncomfortably warm in the full, afternoon sun, but these are the conditions under which the great copper prefers to fly. No wonder this butterfly was thought to be extinct from the Willamette Valley…why would any Lepidopterist (one who studies butterflies) in their right mind be looking for butterflies in the dry, hot, wetland prairies when they could be up in alpine meadows, soaking up a nice view and 75 degree sun? A question, I often ask myself.

This year, 2008, appears to be a particularly good year for the butterfly. I have observed more great coppers this year than any of the last four years I have visited the remaining three butterfly populations. I have even observed at least six butterflies this year up to one mile away from the sites where they normally reproduce. Hopefully, these dispersing butterflies will found new populations so that I’ll get to spend even more quality time, sweating, ambling about, and confusing onlookers in the West Eugene Wetlands.Paul and his followers. is it a movement?

1 comment:

susanne Twight-Alexander said...

What do the copper butterfly's caterpillars eat?
Susanne