Join Linda Gilkeson on Friday, February 23, at 7pm for a factual and entertaining presentation about butterflies, bees, even pollinator flies, and the plants they visit. Linda has a PhD in entomology and is a gardening expert, author, and trainer who has a particular interest in pollinators.
According to Linda, over 85% of flowering plants rely on pollinators, mostly insects, to be able to reproduce. Without pollinators, much of the food that humans and wildlife rely on would disappear and ecosystems throughout the world would be in trouble.
Even more interestingly, some plants have coevolved with certain pollinating insects, and they can be pollinated only by that insect. If that insect population is threatened, then the plant that relies on that insect for survival is also affected.
In her presentation, Linda will also talk about this year’s citizen science project at the Salt Spring Island Conservancy. Last year, Linda trained ten people to become butterfly citizen scientists, and she’ll be training volunteers again this year.
You don’t need to be an expert to be a citizen scientist. In fact, all you need is a keen ability to observe and record. Beginning March 24, interested people with various degrees of knowledge and experience will be able to participate in a training to learn butterfly identification and in data recording.
Once a month, citizen scientists will venture to different locations on the island, walk a predetermined transect, and collect data. The great thing about butterfly citizen science is that you record only on days over a certain temperature, with no rain and little wind.
By collecting data, citizen scientists will help inform the Conservancy’s ongoing work to conserve wildlife habitat on the island. Some long-running citizen science projects, such as bird counts and butterfly counts, have yielded valuable information over the years that supplements (and sometimes stimulates) research by scientists.
Linda’s February 23 presentation will provide valuable information to anyone interesting in becoming a butterfly citizen scientist. Doors open at the Lions Hall at 6:45pm and refreshments will be served.