Butterflies and Moths of Yavapai County, Arizona

My Butterfly and Moth Checklist, Yavapai County, Arizona is complete. The book includes species lists from the Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA) website with minor adjustments from the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD). Conservation ranks are from the AZGFD website. All the species names link to photos and descriptions on the BAMONA website.

Yavapai County covers a large, diverse region in central Arizona. It includes mountains with mixed coniferous forests, foothills with evergreen woodlands and shrublands, and wide valleys with desert grasslands. My place is on the edge of a small riparian forest beside the Agua Fria River in Lonesome Valley. The site is home to many butterflies, moths, and other wildlife. The discussion and photographs in the book focus on this area.

The book has only 30 pages. I might have it printed for my use, but I don’t expect to offer it for sale. Since it has color pictures, it will be expensive to print (around $12). The PDF version of the book is free.  Look the PDF over and let me know if you want a printed copy. If there are several requests, I’ll have it formatted and printed.

The PDF has some advantages over a print copy. It has fillable fields and links to species descriptions and photographs. Used on a tablet, it will serve as a notebook and reference for field use.

Specialists reviewed the species lists, but I proofed the introduction myself, never a good idea, so there might be an error or two.  Please add a comment or send an email if you find a mistake (thank you!).

Arizona Wildlife Notebook Revised – #Wildlife, #Arizona, #Conservation

Arizona Wildlife Notebook

A new edition of the “Arizona Wildlife Notebook” is available.

In the year, 2015, lethal heat waves and storms made it clear that humanity was changing the Earth.  Anyone who paid attention to the news knew that Earth’s animals and plants were disappearing.

Animal Declines

This figure from the review by the World Wildlife Fund (2014) shows that, from 1970 to 2010, Earth’s animals declined by 52%.

I have come to believe that nature conservation is the great challenge of our time. Human beings are imposing a mass extinction that will eliminate almost all animals on Earth. We may not be able to stop this, but I believe that the Notebook will be useful for anyone who hasn’t given up and wishes to work to protect Earth’s creatures.

Arizona Species Conservation Status

For this edition of the Notebook, I added more information on conservation.  The table below shows group status for species that AZGFD specialists consider critically imperiled (S1), imperiled (S2), and vulnerable (S3).  It also shows group status according to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for Threatened (LT) and Endangered (LE) species.  I didn’t include butterflies, moths, damselflies, and dragonflies in this table because the status of most species in those groups is unknown.

Many species that the AZGFD says are critically imperiled are not given national recognition and protection by the U. S. Endangered Species Act (ESA).  It seems that only after species are mostly gone that protection becomes available.  Thus, the ESA achieves very little overall protection from biodiversity loss.

ARIZONA WILDLIFE CONSERVATION STATUS

Species Group

Total  minus

Exotic & Extinct

AZGFD

S1+S2+S3

ESA

LT+LE

Amphibians

31

18 (58%)

2

Birds

451

260 (58%)

9

Fish

40

40 (100%)

13

Lizards

67

27 (40%)

0

Mammals

189

64 (34%)

15

Snakes

76

35 (46%)

1

Turtles

10

6 (67%)

2

TOTAL

864

450 (52%)

42

The third column shows how many species AZGFD considers at risk.  For instance, all native Arizona fish species are at risk, and about one-third of native Arizona mammals are at risk.  Being “at risk” usually means that numbers are dropping.  The principal causes are construction of buildings and roads, and invasive plants and animals.

Click–Arizona Wildlife Notebook–for a free copy of the 168-page book formatted as a PDF “fillable form.” If you like the book, tell others. Write a review for Amazon: http://mybook.to/AZWildlifeNotebook , or Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1Mkgmei.  If you would like to review a printed copy of the book, send a note using the form below.  Thank you.

Now that you’ve downloaded the book, you have a conversation-starter for tonight’s warm-up party for World Animal Day!

Help wanted on tracking biodiversity from space

“Conservation organisations and space agencies are being called on to join forces to decide how changes in biodiversity can be monitored globally. What, exactly, should be measured by satellites?

“Biodiversity refers to the different types of life found on Earth. While it is a measure of the variety of organisms in ecosystems, it is difficult to quantify because it cannot be assessed in physical units, unlike other aspects of global change.

“Biodiversity is not evenly distributed, but varies greatly around the globe as well as within regions. Among other factors, the diversity of all living things depends on temperature, precipitation, altitude, soils, geography and the presence of other species.”    www.esa.int

GR:  Here’s a new call:  This post mentions a recent study that concluded that half of all Earth’s wildlife has died.  That study did not use satellite information.  If we relied on remote sensing from satellites, we would not know that most animals had died.  We can’t identify animals or most plant species from space.  We can’t see them, count them, or study them.  We need to get all our spacers on the ground with clipboards counting animals.  Of course, sitting at a desk, sipping coffee, studying a monitor is much more comfortable than being outdoors.  But what will they do if all the animals die?

Annual Changes in Hummingbird Migration Revealed by Citizen Naturalists

By Victoria.  “Imagine circling the Earth twice on foot while drinking your weight in flower nectar each day. That’s the human equivalent of what Calliope Hummingbirds do, by wing, twice a year, in their migrations between Washington and Mexico.

“Using data from the eBird citizen-science project, researchers patched together hummingbird sightings from more than 300,000 checklists across North America to track the central hub of migration over a five-year period. Based on the number of eBird sightings at different locations, researchers calculated the average location of hummingbird populations for each day. For example, of the estimated 2 million Calliope Hummingbirds in North America, some individuals were recorded by eBird participants during the study period from 2008 to 2013. Researchers used these sightings to then find the average location of all Calliope Hummingbirds each day and visualize overall movement of the species throughout migration” Source:  Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

GR:  Calliopes pass through my region, but they are rare here.  What’s interesting is that checklists by citizen naturalists have made an analysis possible that could never have been done by ornithologists alone.