While some folks might prefer watching butterflies at home, others are willing to travel great distances to track down a specific butterfly they have yet to see. Many of these intrepid insect identifiers belong to the North American Butterfly Association. This non-profit group works to protect butterflies and help other people appreciate them more. It’s members hail from the U.S., Mexico and Canada, but every other year they gather together in one location to talk about butterflies. While these biennial meetings are very informative, members also get to go on field trips so they can get out and see some actual butterflies. This year Tennessee was their gathering spot…and one of their field trips was to a beautiful meadow at the Savage Gulf Ranger Station at South Cumberland State Park.
If you are interested in learning more about butterflies in our state, check out Rita Venable’s new book, Butterflies of Tennessee, which is filled with great pictures and lots of information that will help you learn more about butterflies in our state….things like why our state butterfly (the zebra swallowtail) loves pawpaw trees.
Formed in 1992, the North American Butterfly Association is the largest group of people in North America interested in butterflies. They are working to save butterfly species throughout North America…like helping the endangered Schaus’ Swallowtail in Florida and helping develop a long term survival plan for Monarchs…as well as developing educational programs about butterflies for schools and park rangers and naturalists. To learn more about the organization or to join them in their work, visit their website, naba.org.
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