Citizen Science Opportunities - Insects
Are you looking for an opportunity to volunteer your time helping wildlife? Are you willing to help collect data on species and their habitats? Maybe you want to teach others about fishing or hunting. Chapter 5 of the 2015 State Wildlife Action Plan lists education and outreach efforts as one of the fundamental strategies needing implementation in South Carolina to benefit priority wildlife species and their habitats. In particular, SCDNR and its partners should "promote volunteer participation, both in education and outreach programs as well as in data collection. [High priority]."
There are many opportunities for the public to help gather information that biologists and researchers can use in assessing species and their habitats. Sometimes our biologists need seasonal help with specific projects. That's when our volunteers become vitally important. Listed below are some citizen science weblinks. Some are for SCDNR programs while others take you to our conservation partners' websites.
- Report active bumblebee nests and create habitat for these declining pollinators.
- Take photographs of bees and share with experts to help determine the range of various species.
- If you have witnessed a dead bee sighting (1,000 + bees), please complete the Xerces Society's online form. Please also take photos and report the sighting to the SC Department of Agriculture.
Butterflies and Moths
- Send in your Lepidoptera (order of insects that includes moths and butterflies) sightings and photographs to the Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA) database.
- Assist with butterfly tagging through the Carolina Butterfly Society
- Record Monarch sightings that fly through on migration.
- Assist the University of Minnesota in their nationwide study of monarch butterfly ecology through the Monarch Larva Monitoring Program.
- Winter Monarch Butterfly Tagging Project - Monarch butterfly populations are decreasing, with record low winter counts for Mexico in 2014. Many of the monarchs migrate from Mexico to the upper Midwest and southern Canada during the summer and then back to Mexico in the fall. But on the East coast, things are different. Monarchs migrating along the East coast in fall typically do not go to Mexico. Some over-winter along the immediate coast of South Carolina. Scientists want to find out more about this winter range along the Lowcountry coast and need your help!
- Check out all the ways you can participate in National Moth Week, July 23-31, 2016.
Additional Insect Opportunities
- Dragonflies – Assist the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation with their study of dragonflies by participating in Pond Watch and Migration Monitoring programs.
- Fireflies – Clemson University is conducting research on why fireflies are in decline in their Vanishing Firefly Project. Help census areas for these insects.