Join the Citizen Science Initiative to Save Butterflies & Moths, Oklahomans Called To Help

Gwen Wren

Disclaimer: You may wish to click on any referenced links cited in the article to get more information, their are no affilate links. Due to my disabilities, I employ AI as an assistive tool in the writing process of this article.
Collection of butterflies in a framePhoto byKsenia MakagonovaonUnsplash

Residents have until November 1, 2023, to participate in this unique research initiative.

In a call to action for residents of Oklahoma and five other states, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is embarking on a groundbreaking Citizen Science project, inviting people to mail in deceased butterflies and moths. The motivation behind this unique endeavor is the concerning global decline in butterfly and moth populations, and the USGS scientists believe that the key to unraveling this mystery lies in these delicate insects.

Crucial Research Focus:
The heart of this project revolves around understanding how environmental contaminants, such as pesticides and antibiotics, might be contributing to the diminishing numbers of butterflies and moths. With their pivotal roles in ecosystems, these insects hold a crucial place in maintaining environmental balance.

The States Under the Microscope:
The scientists leading this research have chosen six agricultural states as their primary focus: Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Texas, Alabama, and Georgia. By analyzing specimens from these regions, they aim to obtain insights into the specific challenges faced by butterfly and moth populations in agricultural landscapes.

The Power of Citizen Participation:
Central to the success of this study is the active participation of residents. By contributing deceased butterflies and moths larger than 2 inches in size, individuals can play an invaluable role in building a comprehensive collection that spans the entire country. These specimens are not just for today's scientists; they will be a resource for researchers even 20 years from now.

Julie Dietze, Lead Author's Perspective:
Julie Dietze, the lead author of the USGS study, underscores the importance of these collections, stating, "Collections like this one are important because they have the potential to provide scientists now, and 20 years from now, access to specimens. Without the specimen, it will be far more difficult to answer questions related to contaminants and environmental health."

A Limited-Time Opportunity:
Residents have until November 1, 2023, to participate in this unique research initiative. Deceased specimens can be sent to the USGS LRC at 1217 Biltmore Drive, Lawrence, KS 66049.

Get Involved:
To learn more about how you can contribute to this critical scientific study, please refer to the provided project flyer or visit the project website. Join the effort to protect our insect populations and safeguard our environment for generations to come.
Lepidoptera Research Collection FlyerPhoto byPublic Domain. By Organic Geochemistry Research Laboratory (OGRL)

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I am a complex soul with a wide variety of passions, from DIYs to volunteering. I love learning and sharing what I have learned with others.

Moyers, OK

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