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Butterflies in my backyard going national for 2024

BIMBY season is beginning, and they’re inviting everyone to take photos of butterflies across Canada
A monarch butterfly at the Insectarium in Montreal, on Wednesday, November 9, 2022. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)

The Butterflies in My Backyard project may have began in B.C. but it’s going national.

The volunteer-based project known as BIMBY is recruiting folks now who will be willing to capture photos on their ubiquitous smartphones.

“The 2024 season is about to kick off, and for the first time since the project’s inception we are calling for everyone in the country to join,” organizers said in a post.

“Together, we can help scientists learn about the state of Canada’s 302 butterfly species and the environments that help them survive and thrive.”

READ MORE: Monarch butterfly listed as endangered

Stephen Deedes-Vincke is the volunteer iNaturalist specialist, training the “seekers” and helping to analyze the data.

In 2023, volunteers submitted more than 20,000 photos of 143 different butterfly species to the BIMBY Project on the iNaturalist app.

That’s incredibly valuable data, and similar to the work of volunteers counters who participate in Christmas Bird Counts.

“By actively participating in the David Suzuki Foundation’s BIMBY Project, I have the privilege of merging my passion for nature and conservation with my keen interest in community science and data analysis,” said Deedes-Vincke.

“Our collective efforts aim to influence future policy decisions and safeguard not only our butterflies but also other vital pollinators and wildlife. Through our work I aspire to make a meaningful contribution toward the protection of butterflies throughout Canada.

The project began in 2022 in partnership with University of British Columbia ecologist Michelle Tseng, UBC Botanical Garden associate director Tara Moreau and iNaturalist specialist Stephen Deedes-Vincke to document butterflies in British Columbia.

According to John Reynolds, conservation ecologist at Simon Fraser University and past chair of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, “BIMBY Seekers created data that will be used by conservation biologists to create policy to protect the most vulnerable butterfly species.”

So the project that started in B.C. is going national this summer to help the butterflies that help pollinate.

Recruitment is on now for BIMBY seekers. Register by April 12.

Jennifer Feinberg

About the Author: Jennifer Feinberg

I have been a Chilliwack Progress reporter for 20+ years, covering city hall, Indigenous, business, and climate change stories.
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