ebutterfly is a tool for Canadian butterfly enthusiasts to:
- Record the butterflies you see, photograph, and collect
- Build a virtual collection of butterflies
- Keep track of your butterfly lists (life, year, provinces)
- Find butterflies you have never seen
- Explore dynamic distribution maps
- Share your sightings and join the eButterfly community
- Contribute to science and conservation
I did my first submission to ebutterfly yesterday, an image of what I think is a Clouded Sulphur (Colias philodice) that I had photographed in Cypress Hills last year. Today I found that I had also photographed a Copper butterfly at the same location, so I decided this would be a good time to ‘capture’ the submission process to share with my readers.
Once you enter the Submit Record area you quickly realize that you are not dealing with a simple citizen science survey like the Lost Lady Ladybug Project or BugGuide. You are greeted by a Google Map and empty boxes which included space for latitude and longitude. This is the ‘Create a Survey Site’ page:
The task is not as daunting as it looks! Describe the locality in as detailed a manner as you can. If you can pinpoint the location where the butterfly was found on the map, click the area to place a ‘bubble’ and the other boxes automatically fill themselves in and you are ready to ‘Submit‘ and move on to the next page. You can also enter the latitude and longitude info. directly from a GPS device or from the metadata of GPS empowered cameras, however you must manually select your province.
After you Submit, the next page pops open (below). Because I was not specifically doing a survey of butterflies, I select ‘Incidental Observation’. When you hover over each empty box, it explains the content required: ‘Pollard TransectPollard WalkPollard Walk surveys employ fixed travel routes during counting. More rigorous statistical analysis of transect data is possible because counts are conducted in a much more uniform manner with respect to area covered and time spent. surveys employ fixed travel routes during counting. More rigorous statistical analysis of transect data is possible because counts are conducted in a much more uniform manner with respect to area covered and time spent.’ and ‘Atlas SquareA map of the area is divided into blocks and each block is surveyed on a regular basis.’ are two surveying methods used by ecologists.
I was able to pin-point my area quite accurately on the map, because I was at the intersection of a back road and a stream, and all my wandering kept me within 50 m of that point. If you click the More info button you will also be able to enter weather information, your catalogue and institution code as well as any extra remarks you would like to make.
I was the only observer, so I could click Submit and move on to the next window, which revealed the Alberta Checklist. I select the Lycaenidae tab and enter ’9999′ into the Purplish copper box because I think that is what I have photographed. This would normally be the actual survey count, but in my case I use the code 9999 because it indicates the presence of the species in the area. Note that there is also an Unknown tab so you can submit photographs for ID. All submissions will be reviewed by regional experts before being given the stamp of approval.
I click Submit again, and the New Records box pops up. This would contain all the species that you had entered data for in the previous window, and it allows you to enter more specific information. I entered Medium for ID confidence, because there are 4 similar species in Alberta, but only the Purplish Copper is common in September. Note that you can also chose whether to make your data public, sensitive or confidential.
Submitting again gives you the final window, and you are done!
My ID’s have not been confirmed yet, but I can see my submissions at My Records. As you can see, I still have the option of editing each submission.
For more detail on the submission process, read the tutorial or begin by submitting your own record.
- Canada Does Citizen Science – eButterfly! (bugs.adrianthysse.com)