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The Science & Research of UBI

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Great Spangled Fritillary on milkweed at Reasor Park.jpg

The Butterfly Hotspots created by UBI provide opportunities for scientific studies on butterfly populations as well as the role nature plays in the health and well-being of people and their communities. These studies include both community science that relies on the participation of many community members and more traditional research projects run by EIU professors and their students. 

Community Science

Whenever possible, we involve community members in the collection of scientific data, an activity that helps connect people with nature while contributing valuable information to the understanding of natural butterfly populations and educating the public about the scientific process. We use iNaturalist to collect and store the data for our community science projects, and organize community events like the annual Butterfly Blitz to encourage engagement and data collection.

# of Observations of Each Species at UBI Butterfly Hotspots

Pie Chart of Biodiversity Recorded at UBI Butterfly Hotspots

iNaturalist data for UBI Butterfly Hotspots as of October 2023

Using iNaturalist, we organize a week-long annual Butterfly Blitz every July. To learn more about what the Butterfly Blitz entails and to see reports from years past, visit our Butterfly Blitz page.

Butterfly Blitz 2023 Map of Observations

UBI conducts scientific studies with Eastern Illinois University student collaborators as part of their university education.

Yellow color morph of female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

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Dark color morph of female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

This is a study to determine if the two color forms of the female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) display different behaviors or distributions.

Painted Lady and Common Buckeye on New England aster at a UBI Butterfly Hotspot

Large expanse of mowed turf grass lawn

This is a study to determine the effects of these two landscaping choices on the diversity and total number of butterflies using the areas.

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