Photo: Coleen Pidgeon.

Exciting Summer Butterfly Updates

Jul 03, 2024 by Jana Hemphill
We have several exciting butterfly updates to share!

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We have several exciting butterfly updates to share!

There have been multiple monarch butterfly sightings in Central Oregon this summer! One was spotted in La Pine and another in Redmond, while monarch caterpillars were found in Redmond at Clearwater Native Plant Nursery (where we source native plants for our Preserve plantings!). There have also been two monarch butterfly sightings at the Land Trust’s very own Camp Polk Meadow Preserve, in an area of milkweed that we planted several years ago.

Overall, monarch butterfly sightings during their spring migration have been up in the Pacific Northwest compared to last year. This is news to celebrate! If you happen to spot a monarch butterfly or monarch caterpillar, please share your photos with us!

Photo: Lucy Egertson.
Photo: Lucy Egertson.
Meanwhile, at the Metolius Preserve, there have been two new species of butterflies observed: the bramble hairstreak and the arrowhead blue. The Land Trust’s resident butterfly expert—stewardship director Amanda Egertson—was the one to spot these beauties. She’s also seen many great arctic butterflies this year at the Metolius Preserve—more than she’s ever seen in the past!

Amanda also recently participated in a butterfly count at Big Summit Prairie in the Ochoco mountains. The North American Butterfly Association has been hosting butterfly counts since 1993. These counts provide information on the geographical distribution and the relative population size of the species that are counted. In addition, comparing yearly data helps monitor population changes and also helps study the effects of weather and habitat change on butterfly populations. Highlights of the butterfly count for Amanda include seeing a significant increase in blue coppers (and at more locations than in the past), spotting Edith’s coppers, and observing silver-bordered fritillary—a species that is imperiled in Oregon and a “species of greatest conservation need” in Washington.

We look forward to celebrating more conservation wins for butterflies in the future!


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