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Big Butterfly Count

Main Project Information
Goal Help scientists learn more about butterflies and the environment
Task Submit butterfly count from 15 minutes of observation.
Where Global, anywhere on the planet

Counting butterflies for just fifteen minutes could help scientists better understand the environment. The Big Butterfly Count is a recently started national survey that hopes to engage citizen scientists by creating easy and engaging survey methods. Started by the charity group Butterfly Conservation in 2010, the program has grown to over 34,000 participants!

The big butterfly count takes place this year from Saturday 17th July - Sunday 9th August 2015. All you have to do is submit your butterfly counts for just fifteen minutes of observation. A colorful identification poster is available online and submission on the project website couldn’t be easier.

Butterflies are quite sensitive to changes in the environment and are excellent indicators of potential issues with other wildlife. By studying the trends in butterfly counts, scientists can better understand the relationships between wildlife and the environment.

This is an easy, fun, and meaningful way to engage in science. Print out an identification poster, get outside, and start counting!

How to Join

To begin, request an identification poster online at

Then, submit your counts online at

Social Media
Required Gear

Identification poster available online.

Binoculars (optional)

Computer with internet connectivity

Ideal Age Group Elementary school (6 - 10 years), Middle school (11 - 13 years), High school (14 - 17 years), College, Graduate students, Adults, Families
Spend the Time outdoors
Type of Activity At school, At a science center, zoo or aquarium, At home, On a hike, On a walk, run
Media Mentions
and Publications
Tags big, butterflies, butterfly, count, counting, moth, moths, nation
Project Updated 05/23/2018