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New Hampshire Butterfly Survey

Butterflies are widely recognized as important components of natural ecosystems. Adults can be important pollinators, larvae can be major herbivores, and all life stages provide food to other wildlife species. Many are specialists on one or a few host plants, and in this context can serve as indicators of environmental change. But while many species of butterflies have been recorded in New Hampshire, the actual status of most species is unknown.

NH Butterfly Survey Project
Photo by Bob Janules

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Most conservation work on butterflies in the state has focused on pine barrens species such as the Karner Blue, or the endemic butterflies of the Presidential Range, with little to no effort directed at the remainder – many of which may be equally rare. In 2013, NH Audubon completed a comprehensive summary of available data on butterfly distributions in the state in order to complete the necessary first step toward the prioritization of future conservation activity directed at this group of insects (see the archived project Butterfly Data Compilation).
NHA is currently seeking funding for a five-year statewide butterfly survey in New Hampshire. This project would be similar in structure to the recently completed New Hampshire Dragonfly Survey. If you have records of butterflies you have seen in New Hampshire, consider entering them on eButterfly, an international, data driven project dedicated to butterfly biodiversity, conservation and education (www.ebutterfly.ca). New Hampshire is currently a “hole” in the knowledge of butterfly distribution in New England and neighboring Canada. Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont have all completed multi-year butterfly survey projects, and two additional survey efforts are currently underway in Maine and the Canadian Maritimes. A multi-year butterfly survey effort in New Hampshire would not only result in a more complete baseline data for the state but would complete the regional snapshot of butterfly numbers, distribution and species status for New England and beyond.
Project Leader: Vanessa Jones

Explore 39 wildlife sanctuaries throughout all 10 counties of New Hampshire.

Committed to the conservation of ecologically important lands.

We regularly observe and count 14 species at NH Audubon’s Raptor Observatories.

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The New Hampshire Audubon offers multiple opportunities for those interested in joining us as a member or donating for one of our various causes.

About Us

Founded in 1914, NH Audubon’s mission is to protect New Hampshire’s natural environment for wildlife and for people. It is an independent statewide membership organization with four nature centers throughout the state. Expert educators give programs to children, families, and adults at centers and in schools. Staff biologists and volunteers conduct bird conservation efforts such as the Peregrine Falcon restoration. NH Audubon protects thousands of acres of wildlife habitat and is a voice for sound public policy on environmental issues. For information on NH Audubon, including membership, volunteering, programs, sanctuaries, and publications, call 224-9909, or visit www.nhaudubon.org.