Butterfly Inventory and Monitoring in Rocky Mountain National Park

Monarch Butterfly
Monarch Butterflies, like this one, are just one species of butterfly that is plants rely on as pollinators.

Photo by NPS.

Butterflies, a well-known and admired pollinator, have been a subject of interest in Rocky Mountain National Park for 15 years. With that many years of data, it is no surprise that researchers have had about 78 thousand butterfly sightings in the park, with an ever-growing list of 140 confirmed species. Researcher have studied the butterflies life cycles alongside weather data from the National Weather Service Station in Estes Park, but no obvious correlation has yet to appear between this and environmental factors, such as climate change. More long-term monitoring is sure to reveal the natural cycles of butterflies at high elevation with time. 

Read more topics on pollinators discussed at the Rocky Mountain National Park Research Conference.