Butterfly Counts at Pinnacles National Monument

Participants in the 2006 count

The 2015 Pinnacles Butterfly Count Weekend will be May 30-31. Join us on Saturday for a ranger-led walk and an evening campfire program. On Sunday, we invite you to participate in our annual butterfly count.

Each year around the end of June, right about at the peak butterfly season, Pinnacles holds a butterfly count. We spend the day counting all the butterflies we can find within a 15-mile diameter circle centered in the Monument.

The 2014 Pinnacles Butterfly Count tallied 40 species and 1226 individual butterflies. Look at our table of butterfly count results for more information. Thanks to everyone who participated! The information gained from these counts helps to monitor butterfly populations within the monument as well as across the continent. This is one of the many ways that we protect the Natural Resources of Pinnacles National Monument for the enjoyment of many generations to come.

Have you ever seen hundreds of butterflies in a day? Or 25 different kinds of butterflies in a day? We invite beginners and experts alike to join us for the annual butterfly count. Those who know butterflies can lead groups to areas we wouldn’t be able to survey otherwise. Those who don't know butterflies can help by recording data and spotting butterflies for others to identify. We spend the entire day hiking and counting butterflies. It is hard work, both mentally and physically, but ultimately it is rewarding and inspiring. Your participation can make a difference.

You can prepare for the butterfly count by looking at field guides to familiarize yourself with the species listed in the Checklist of Butterflies of Pinnacles National Park. Although 70 species are found here, pay special attention to those that are most common in May and June. And, of course, you can take a visit to Pinnacles to get some practice before the count. If you would like information about participating in future counts, please contact Paul Johnson at e-mail us or (831) 389-4486 ext.271.

Last updated: March 13, 2015

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Mailing Address:

5000 Highway 146
Paicines, CA 95043


(831) 389-4486
To contact the Pinnacles Campground, please call (831) 389-4538.

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