The USGS wants dead butterflies from Alabama

Scientists are concerned about the number of migrating monarch butterflies.
Scientists are concerned about the number of migrating monarch butterflies.(WCAX)
Published: Sep. 23, 2023 at 1:58 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The United States Geological Survey wants Alabama’s dead butterflies.

That’s right. Certain states are being asked to mail in dead butterflies, moths, and skippers so the USGS can make a Lepidoptera Research Collection (LRC).

Alabama, along with Georgia, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas, are being asked to send in the dead critters.

“There are some questions that can’t effectively be answered without help from a lot of people. It’s what makes citizen science so special and valuable,” said Julie Dietze, USGS scientist and head of the project. “Collections like this one are important because they have the potential to provide scientists now, and 20 years from now, access to specimens. Without the specimens it will be far more difficult to answer questions related to contaminants and environmental health.”

Scientists at the USGS will use the insects to learn about what is causing their populations to decline. Specifically, they are looking for the presence of antibiotics, pesticides, hormones, and mycotoxins in the insects.

This project began April of 2023 and is set to end in November, but has the potential to extend into 2024 if more samples are needed.

Please mail specimens to: USGS LRC, 1217 Biltmore Drive, Lawrence, KS 66049.

The “DEADline” is Nov. 1, 2023.

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