Make it count!

Make it count!
Credit: Insectarium de Montréal (André-Philippe Drapeau-Picard)
Make it count!
  • Make it count!
  • Make it count!
  • Make it count!
Make it count!

In the information and mobile-technology age, it’s easier than ever to immortalize the spectacles that nature presents. Were you aware that when you share your observations of animal, plant and other species you could be contributing to advances in scientific knowledge?

Smartphones are all around us, meaning just about everyone’s walking around with a good camera that does a pretty good job. Which makes it easy to photograph flowers, birds, butterflies – in short, virtually every species you come across. Moreover, it’s possible to program the phone to associate the date, time and place with every picture. From there, you’re just a click away from transforming a simple observation into scientific data.

And scientists need those observations. Given the current context of a worldwide decline in biodiversity, monitoring populations is critical. Whether it’s to help endangered species like the monarch butterfly in Canada or simply to keep an eye on the others, every observation has the potential for advancing knowledge. It’s just a question of submitting it to the right community science program.

Community science for every taste

No matter what your interests are, the time at your disposal or the area you live in, there’s a program for you. Some examples: for bird observations there’s eBird; if you see a turtle, there’s Carapace; and for the monarch, there’s Mission Monarch. Some programs require the use of a more or less elaborate protocol, while for others a simple photo will do. Most of these programs are available as apps or at least websites that conform to the format of mobile devices, so that observations on the ground can be shared directly on them.

In all cases, your observations are relevant, because they reflect a sense of wonder where nature is concerned. It’s up to you to lend them scientific value by sharing them with the right community science program. A little effort can contribute substantially to safeguarding biodiversity!

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3 Comment(s)
Shaaron Grogan-Sheahan's picture
Shaaron Grogan-...

I took photos of what I found on the underside of two Milkweed plants but don’t know what I am finding. Is there anywhere I could send the photos so I would know for certain whether these items are Monarch Butterfly related?

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We suggest that you contact the Entomological Information Service with your question.

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The blog team

lorene melvin's picture
lorene melvin

Monarch eggs are white, translucent domes found on the top four leaves usually since these are the most tender for newly hatched caterpillars. Send the photo to me and I can give you an answer most likely. Other insects that deposit eggs on milkweed are often yellowish and lack the appearance of a dome.

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