Archivos de diario de septiembre 2020

10 de septiembre de 2020

A Note on Geoprivacy and Adjusting Your Settings

The Vermont Atlas of Life received dozens of reports of Wood Turtles from across the state in iNaturalist. Due to its designation as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in Vermont, Wood Turtle observations submitted to the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist are automatically obscured to protect these turtles from being harassed or illegally collected by unscrupulous people. But sometimes conservationists like us can’t see the locations either.

For example, we share observations each year with the Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas, which collects data needed to make informed recommendations regarding the state status, state rank, and conservation priorities of Vermont’s reptiles and amphibians. To do this, the atlas requires exact locations of observations. Unfortunately, if we don’t have access to the locations, they cannot be used for conservation.

iNaturalist also places geoprivacy in your hands. You can make make any of your observations obscured or even completely private, if you so choose. However, if you are uploading obscured or private observations, or are uploading observations of rare or threatened species that are automatically obscured, like the Wood Turtle example, it is likely that your observations are not fully contributing to research and conservation.

The default settings of an iNaturalist project like the Vermont Atlas of Life are such that the coordinates of any obscured or private observations actively shared with the project are visible to our team of biologists, but the coordinates of observations passively gathered by the project (any observations that are made within the state of Vermont but the observer is either not a member of the VAL project or didn’t purposely add the observation to the project) are not visible to VAL curators. This means that the coordinates of many important observations of rare and threatened species are hidden, and conservationists and researchers are unable to fully use them. There is a quick fix for this!

If you would like your obscured sightings of rare species or species of conservation concern to be accessible to professional conservationists, biologists, and researchers that work with VAL, go to our short primer on iNaturalist geoprivacy - https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vQUa6ZXvL9YNWeG5Yz5DOW4j2J8fOcDBrD5x3LvrEE1rQlANI3I_wql62eY1NM736Ctbj_ADFb851Uv/pub - and learn how you can best set your geoprivacy settings for the Vermont Atlas of Life.

Ingresado el 10 de septiembre de 2020 por kpmcfarland kpmcfarland | 6 comentarios | Deja un comentario

01 de septiembre de 2020

September Bees to Target for Observations

Despite the cool nights and short days, there are still plenty of bees to be found. In recent years we've found male Bombus impatiens and Lasioglossum hanging on until early November. Here are a handful of identifiable bees that should be present in Vermont, though have only a few records, if any.


Andrena parnassiae - A globally rare specialist of Grass of Parnassus that we have had good luck finding in Eastern VT.


Andrena aliciae - A sunflower specialist, and the only andrena where the female has a yellow clypeus. So far unrecorded in VT, but a large dark bee that should be pretty distinctive on perennial sunflowers.


Nomada vincta - Look for this wasp-like bee on and around perennial sunflowers, where its host Andrena helianthi is often found.


Nomada banksi - This is a cleptoparasite of Andrena asteris, which is probably one of the last new species to emerge, preferring asters.


Lasioglossum fuscipenne - One of a small number of identifiable lasioglossum, males of L. fuscipenne have dark wings and orange legs. The only VT record was posted on iNaturalist on October 30th of 2019, in Chittenden County - where the VCE bee team had been searching the whole summer - goes to show how much there is still to find!
Ingresado el 01 de septiembre de 2020 por kpmcfarland kpmcfarland | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

August 2020 Photo-observation of the Month

Congratulations to Joshua Lincoln for winning the August 2020 Photo-observation of the Month! His image of a perched Zebra Clubtail (Stylurus scudderi) garnered the most votes. A robust dragonfly up to two and a half inches long, it is named after the striped body and well-developed club at the end of its tail. Thanks to efforts by the Vermont Damselfly and Dragonfly Atlas, this dragonfly is turning out to be more common in Vermont than once believed. Its scattered distribution includes rivers or streams with abundant sandy or silty bottoms.

With over 18,000 photo-observations submitted by 1,576 observers in August, it was extremely competitive. Click on the image to see and explore all of the amazing photo-observations.

Visit the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist where you can vote for the winner this month by clicking the ‘fav’ star on your favorite photo-observation. Make sure you get outdoors and record the biodiversity around you, then submit your discoveries and you could be a winner!

Ingresado el 01 de septiembre de 2020 por kpmcfarland kpmcfarland | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

25 de septiembre de 2020

Meet Our New ECO AmeriCorps Community Science Outreach Naturalist!

VCE welcomes Julia Pupko , our new ECO AmeriCorps Community Science Outreach Naturalist. Julia took the reigns following the end of Emily Anderson’s service last month and will be building on Emily’s outreach and education work for VCE’s community science projects. After the Vermont Lady Beetle Atlas pilot year in 2020, she will coordinate the launching of the first full year of the atlas in 2021. We hope to get as many volunteers as possible involved in helping us find some of our missing native species! Julia is also available to help you with iNaturalist, eBird, eButterfly or any other questions you may have pertaining to community science projects at VCE. She can help you via email (jpupko@vtecostudies.org) or even set up a Zoom meeting to demonstrate to you while sharing her screen. Julia looks forward to engaging with all of those interested in helping us to discover, share, and conserve Vermont’s biodiversity over the course of her service!

Julia Pupko surveying Lady Beetles for the Atlas.

Ingresado el 25 de septiembre de 2020 por kpmcfarland kpmcfarland | 2 comentarios | Deja un comentario

21 de septiembre de 2020

Help Us Find Lady Beetles this Fall

Every lady beetle counts — from the common to the rare. Even if you lack experience with these insects, you can contribute to the Vermont Lady Beetle Atlas. Whether you help with full surveys or just find a few beetles while doing other outdoor activities, It's easy to report your sightings to the Vermont Lady Beetle Atlas on iNaturalist. Since at least the 1980s, native Lady Beetles that were once very common across the Northeast have become rare or have even gone missing.

Fourteen of Vermont’s 33 known native species have not been reported since the 1976 checklist was completed. Three of these species were designated as “species of greatest conservation need” in 2015 in New York: Two-spotted Lady Beetle (Adalia bipunctata), Nine-spotted Lady Beetle (Coccinella novemnotata), and Transverse Lady Beetle (C. transversoguttata). And the Nine-spotted Lady Beetle was recently declared “Endangered” in Canada.

An extensive USDA APHIS survey in 1993 failed to find any Nine-spotted Lady Beetles in 11 Northeastern states, including Vermont. Experts thought that both the Two-spotted and the Nine-spotted lady beetles were extinct in New York until citizen scientists rallied to help Cornell University’s Lost Ladybug Project search for them. In 2009 the Two-spotted was reported from western New York and in 2011 citizen scientists discovered several Nine-spotted lady beetles on Long Island.

The Vermont Lady Beetle Atlas was inspired by a desire to uncover similar answers about Vermont’s missing Lady Beetles. Through our research, we hope to pick up where the Lost Ladybug Project left off and amass a database of current Lady Beetle species in Vermont. Through this work, we want to discover whether missing Lady Beetle species still exist at low levels in some regions or if they truly are gone. Our long-term goal is to restore Vermont’s Lady Beetle diversity and counteract the proliferation of invasive Lady Beetles by reintroducing some of these lost species. Ultimately, by tackling unanswered questions about Vermont Lady Beetles and keeping our thumb on the pulse of Lady Beetle conservation, we hope to provide insight and support to those tackling environmental issues across the state.

How You Can Help

Combing Vermont’s forests, fields, and gardens for missing Lady Beetle species is an important mission and we definitely can’t do it alone! You can help us by photographing any Lady Beetle you come across and sharing it on iNaturalist. There's still time left this year to explore your yard, gardens, and meadows for Lady Beetles before autumn turns to winter!

For more information about our Vermont Lady Beetle Atlas, visit https://val.vtecostudies.org/projects/lady-beetle-atlas/

Ingresado el 21 de septiembre de 2020 por kpmcfarland kpmcfarland | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

28 de septiembre de 2020

Vermont Lady Beetle Atlas Pilot Year

The Vermont Lady Beetle Atlas Pilot Year is not over yet!! A big thank you to you all for making our pilot year a great one! If you have any data sheets, please scan and email them to jpupko@vtecostudies.org or mail in your paper copies to Vermont Center for Ecostudies PO Box 420 Norwich, VT 05055 as soon as you can. Once we have all of the data in, we will be able to share a summary of the year’s findings. Stay tuned for our end-of-the-year report coming at the end of next month!

Thus far, there have been 19 species of lady beetle recorded as Research Grade Observations in Vermont, 14 of which are native. One species found is the elusive Four-Spotted Spurleg Lady Beetle (Brachiacantha quadripunctata), which was not seen since 1976 prior to surveys done for this project. While fall has certainly arrived, it is not too late to get out there and conduct some more surveys—the beetles will be out until it we get our first deep frosts!! Additionally, certain lady beetles occur in the highest frequencies in September, as they prepare to overwinter in leaf litter or under rocks. Send some more surveys our way!

Ingresado el 28 de septiembre de 2020 por jpupko jpupko | 2 comentarios | Deja un comentario

30 de septiembre de 2020

Pruinose Squash Bee Mission Update

Earlier this year, we called on our community scientists to keep an INaturalist eye out for the Pruinose Squash Bee (Peponapis pruinosa), also known as the Eastern Cucurbit Bee. This small insect is just under 1.5 cm at maximum (smaller than the diameter of a dime), yet is an important pollinator for all of the plants in the cucurbit family (squash, cucumber, watermelon, pumpkins, and others).The Pruinose Squash Bees entire life cycle revolves around squash flowers--collecting pollen in the morning when the flowers are open, then building underground nests nearby (females) or resting within the flowers (males) once the flowers close in the afternoon.

According to our Vermont Wild Bee Survey, there were surprisingly few records of this bee reported from across Vermont. We wanted to know how wide-spread these amazing native pollinators are in the state, so we called on our community scientists (that is all of you!) to help us find out.

Over the course of the summer, there were nine observations of the Pruinose Squash Bee across Vermont. Most of these observations spanned the upper third of Vermont (Montpelier area north), with no observations between Royalton and Montpelier, and only three observations south of Royalton (see map provided). Prior to 2020, there were only 18 observations of the Pruinose Squash Bee, most of which were in the greater Burlington area or along the southeastern border between Vermont and New Hampshire (see map provided). As you can see, 2020 surveys expanded the known range of the Pruinose Squash Bee in Vermont. However, the Northeast Kingdom and the western portions of central and southern Vermont are all lacking observations - is this because the bee does not exist in these locations or do we just not have enough surveys? Let’s find out together next year when they are once again buzzing around our gardens.

The map on the left is of Pruinose Squash Bee observations from 2020, and the map on the right is of Pruinose Squash Bee observations in all years prior to 2020. Click the map to view the live map on INaturalist.

Ingresado el 30 de septiembre de 2020 por jpupko jpupko | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario