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2022 Service-Learning Symposium: Analysis of Migratory Butterfly Activity Along the Atlantic Flyway—Georgia

Analysis of Migratory Butterfly Activity Along the Atlantic Flyway—Georgia

Authors: David Armstrong, Maggi Veiga, Shelley Prestridge, Anne Sanford, and Carlie Blackburn

Faculty Supervisor: C. Tate Holbrook, Ph.D.

Community Partner: St. Simons Land Trust; Butterflies of the Atlantic Flyway Alliance

Abstract:

The Butterflies of the Atlantic Flyway Alliance (BAFA) aims to document seasonal migration activity and guide habitat management for butterfly conservation along the Georgia coast. As part of a BIOL 4020 Conservation Biology service-learning project, we worked with the St. Simons Land Trust (SSLT) and other BAFA partners to conduct butterfly surveys and analyze preliminary results. Standardized fall migration surveys and nectaring surveys were conducted weekly from mid-August through mid-November in various habitats at Cannon’s Point Preserve. Using BAFA data collected from 2019-2020, we described seasonal and habitat-related patterns of migration activity for focal species and summarized observed associations between species of butterflies and nectar plants. This work has contributed significantly to the development of our field research skills and demonstrated how to involve the community through citizen science. Future directions of this project may include the conservation of specific flowering plants along with studies on the importance of migratory butterflies in ecosystem functions.