Join the 10th annual North American Butterfly count

Join the 10th annual North American Butterfly count

Join Audubon Society of Rhode Island naturalists and other butterfly enthusiasts for the 10th annual North American Butterfly Association Butterfly Count, held on Saturdays, June 29 and July 13.

Beginners are welcome on these naturalist-led walks that teach butterfly identification and promote the understanding of butterfly ecology in Rhode Island.

July Lewis, Audubon's butterfly count coordinator, said participants can choose from seven locations across the state with known butterfly populations.

"We're excited to get out in the field and see just how many species we can find," Lewis said. "Team members help to spot butterflies and our naturalists will record them and provide identification tips. Before long, everyone on the team is identifying different species. It's a fun way to learn about these beautiful creatures."

The Rhode Island Butterfly Count is part of a larger effort, coordinated by the North American Butterfly Association, to survey butterflies in North America. Data collected from the count is compiled and published in an annual report. The 2012 report can be found at www.asri.org/images/volunteering/butterflynewsletter2012.pdf .

All 2013 naturalist-led walks meet at 10 a.m. and most finish at noon. The following is a complete schedule:

* June 29 - Audubon Environmental Education Center, 1401 Hope St., Bristol. 10 a.m.-noon.

* June 29 - Nockum Hill, Doug Rayner Wildlife Sanctuary, George Street, Barrington. 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

* June 29 - Audubon Touisset Wildlife Refuge, Touisset Road, Warren. 10 a.m.-noon.

* July 13 - Audubon Powder Mill Ledges Wildlife Refuge, 12 Sanderson Road, Smithfield. 10 a.m.-noon.

* July 13 - Audubon Newman Wildlife Sanctuary, Smithfield and Glocester. Meet at Powder Mill Ledges, Smithfield. 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

* July 13 - Audubon Fisherville Brook Wildlife Refuge, Pardon Joslin Road, Exeter. 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

* July 13 - Trustom Pond, 1040 Matunuck Schoolhouse Road, South Kingstown. 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

There is a $6 fee for Audubon Society of Rhode Island members and an $8 fee for nonmembers. Participation fee for experienced, independent observers is $3 each.

All participants must register to receive survey protocols and to confirm sites within the survey areas. Contact Lewis at butterfly@asri.org to register. Visit www.butterflyingwithaudubon.blogspot.com for more information.