Xerces Society: Bumble Bees and Monarch Butterflies

Posted on Posted in Education, Physical Geography

The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation is about more than just bumble bees and monarch butterflies, although these are popular citizen science mapping projects.  A mind-blowing 94 percent of the more than one million species of animals in the world are invertebrates.

The Xerces Society do applied research projects to protect invertebrates ranging from how to effectively restore pollinator habitat on farms, biomonitoring of wetlands, and conserving endangered invertebrates.  Established as a non-profit in 1971, the Xerces Society is working with over 40 years of data, much of it geospatial data.  Their scientists and volunteers have been using GIS and mapping for many years. The Stable Isotope Project  analyzes patterns of reproduction, emergence, and movement among migrant species of dragonfly at different latitudes.   The Vermont Center for Ecostudies and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute compare the hydrogen isotope ratio in its wings to that of the water body where the insect was captured to map migratory distance.