Archivos de Diario para junio 2021

02 de junio de 2021

Join the Vermont Lady Beetle BioBlitz (June 5-12, 2021)

With their multitude of colors and patterns, lady beetles catch the eye of even the most insect-averse. Lady beetles have also captured the attention of the Vermont Center for Ecostudies’ Vermont Atlas of Life team, after they discovered that many Vermont native lady beetle species have not been seen for decades. In response, the team has launched the Vermont Lady Beetle BioBlitz that will run June 5 to June 12, 2021, and they are looking for volunteers from all over the state to help rediscover these beautiful beetles.

A BioBlitz is a community science effort to record all the species within a designated area over a short time period. Anyone with a willingness to explore nearby habitats to find and photograph lady beetles is encouraged to join. No experience is necessary! The week-long survey will use iNaturalist.org to collect data. To participate, volunteers simply need to download the free iNaturalist smartphone app and join the project at https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/vermont-lady-beetle-bioblitz. Data collected from the Vermont Lady Beetle BioBlitz will be included in the Vermont Lady Beetle Atlas, a statewide survey focused on rediscovering Vermont’s long lost lady beetle species.

“We had an old document which provided a snapshot of lady beetle life prior to 1976 and we quickly realized that many of the beetles reported hadn’t been seen in decades,” said VCE biologist Kent McFarland.

Alarm bells started ringing and the team went to work, sifting through historic lady beetle collections from the University of Vermont Zadock Thompson Natural History Collection, Middlebury College, Fairbanks Museum, and the Vermont Forest, Parks, and Recreation collection, as well as modern records from the Vermont Atlas of Life iNaturalist project and the Lost Ladybug Project at Cornell University. As the pieces fell into place, they realized that 12 of Vermont’s 35 native lady beetle species have been missing for decades.

This may come as a surprise to anyone who has watched armies of bright red and orange beetles invade their windowsills once the autumn wind catches a chill. However, most of these winter roommates are in fact an invasive species—the Asian Lady Beetle—thought to be partly responsible for the decline of native species.

Although it may appear that Asian Lady Beetles are all there is to see, a closer look will reveal other lady beetle species that often blend in. A friend to farmers and gardeners alike, these tiny insects feed primarily on aphids and other pests who can destroy crops. Healthy, diverse lady beetle populations keep these pests in check, making the decline and disappearance of some native species quite concerning.

The Vermont Lady Beetle Atlas was created to find answers to the questions regarding these missing species’ whereabouts. The Atlas’s main objective is to collect information about Vermont’s lady beetle species by conducting field surveys and revisiting older records in order to develop a deeper understanding of how they are faring. However, VCE cannot undertake this endeavor alone.

Lady beetles are tiny needles in the vast haystack of Vermont’s woods, fields, and gardens, making it difficult for a handful of biologists to successfully search alone. Following the lead of the Lost Ladybug Project, VCE is asking community scientists for help in searching for the missing species. Volunteers can search for lady beetles in gardens and potted plants, among weeds and shrubs, on tree trunks, and even on the outside of homes and outbuildings. The goal of the seven-day Bioblitz is to add as many photo-observations of lady beetles as possible to the Vermont Lady Beetle Atlas.

While volunteers can start looking for lady beetles anytime, the official kick-off event is the bioblitz from June 5 - 12, 2021. Every lady beetle counts!

Anyone interested in learning more about the atlas should visit the Vermont Lady Beetle Atlas website at http://val.vtecostudies.org/projects/lady-beetle-atlas/. For questions related to the Vermont Lady Beetle Atlas, please contact Julia Pupko at jpupko@vtecostudies.org.

Anotado en miércoles, 02 de junio de 2021 a las 07:26 PM por kpmcfarland kpmcfarland | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

01 de junio de 2021

May 2021 Photo-observation of the Month


A singing male Cerulean Warbler in Ira, VT. © Susan Elliott

Congratulations to Sue Elliott for winning the May 2021 Photo-observation of the Month for the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist. Sue’s photograph and audio recording of a sky-blue male Cerulean Warbler singing from a perch garnered the most faves this month.

This appropriately named and stunningly blue warbler is a rare breeder in northwestern Vermont with a buzzy, rising song that can sound quite similar to the much more common Black-throated Blue Warbler. Cerulean Warblers require mature deciduous forests with breaks in the canopy to breed, and are at the northern extent of their breeding range in Vermont. Further south in the core of their breeding range, this species has experienced startling population declines due in large part to habitat fragmentation from mountaintop removal mining operations and other forms of development and deforestation. Similar land-use changes on the Cerulean Warbler’s South American wintering grounds have occurred in recent decades, and this species is one of the many resident and migrant birds that benefit from shade-grown coffee shade-grown coffee plantations. When we are lucky enough to be graced by these bright blue world travelers in spring and summer, they often remain high up in the canopy, where their colors can’t be fully appreciated. This makes Sue’s photos all the more remarkable for their nearly eye-level perspective of this handsome singing male Cerulean Warbler!


With 25,481 observations submitted by 1,838 observers in May, it was very competitive. Click on the image above to see and explore all of the amazing observations.

Visit the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist where you can vote for the winner this month by clicking the ‘fave’ star on your favorite photo-observation. Make sure you get outdoors and record the biodiversity around you, then submit your discoveries and you could be a winner!

Anotado en martes, 01 de junio de 2021 a las 04:53 PM por nsharp nsharp | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

18 de junio de 2021

The Vermont Lady Beetle BioBlitz was a Success!

Last week over 60 volunteers searched from backyards to mountaintops as part of the weeklong Vermont Lady Beetle BioBlitz to help find and photograph as many of these charming beetles as possible. The event kicked off the summer survey season for the Vermont Lady Beetle Atlas, a project that aims to find and map the distribution of more than 35 species, including 12 native species that have not been seen for decades. During the one-week event, volunteers visited all 14 of Vermont’s counties and reported 138 lady beetle observations representing a dozen different species.

“This was a great way to kick off the lady beetle season,” said Julia Pupko, VCE ECO AmeriCorps member and Vermont Lady Beetle Atlas Project Coordinator. “Whether it was the drought or extremely hot weather at the beginning of the season, I have been having trouble finding beetles this year. Locating over 12 species in one week was awesome!”

Nearly a third of the species reported were introduced, non-native lady beetles, including a species many of us are familiar with when they invade buildings each fall, the Asian Lady Beetle (Harmonia axyridis). Nearly 50% of the observations reported were Asian Lady Beetles, which are likely more prevalent near homes. The decline of native lady beetles may be linked to the introduction of these non-native species.

Volunteers documented 9 native species during the event. The bright red colored Spotted Lady Beetle and the shiny Ursine Spurleg Lady Beetle were the most observed species. The relatively uncommon Bigeminate Sigil Lady Beetle (Hyperaspis bigeminata) was photographed on the ridgelines of Mt. Mansfield and Camel’s Hump, adding 3 more observations to the mere 5 observations of this species previously reported on iNaturalist in Vermont.

“A big thank you to all the participants of the Vermont Lady Beetle BioBlitz,” said Pupko. “We hope many of you will continue to record lady beetles that you find this summer and help us with the Vermont Lady Beetle Atlas.”

You can find out more about the Vermont Lady Beetle Atlas at the Vermont Atlas of Life website - https://val.vtecostudies.org/projects/lady-beetle-atlas/

Anotado en viernes, 18 de junio de 2021 a las 02:15 PM por jpupko jpupko | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

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