The Cascades Butterfly Project is a long-term monitoring program where citizen scientists (volunteers) and National Park Service Biologists monitor subalpine butterflies and plant phenology.
Butterflies and plants are sensitive indicators of climate change because air temperature influences their life cycles and their geographic distribution. As butterflies develop from egg to larvae to pupae and finally to full maturation, temperature thresholds may trigger these changes. Plant budburst, flowering, and fruiting times are also influenced by temperature and precipitation. Butterflies depend on plants as host plants – providing nectar or shelter for eggs and developing larvae.