14th Annual Butterfly Count Shows Diversity of Butterflies at Powell Gardens

Participants in Powell Gardens' 14th annual butterfly count, which took place July 30, 2016, observed 45 species of butterflies in and near the Gardens. The count is part of the North American Butterfly Association's Butterfly Count Program, comprised of 480+ count sites throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Participants at each site record all butterflies observed in a one-day period.

"Our results show we still have a nice diversity of butterflies in flight at Powell Gardens and its environs," says Alan Branhagen, Horticulture Director at Powell Gardens. "Our garden and property management is nature friendly, and that makes a difference."

The North American Butterfly Association compiles the results from all count sites in an annual report providing information about geographical distribution and population sizes of species counted. Comparisons of the results across years can be used to monitor changes in butterfly populations and study effects of weather and habitat change on butterflies. 

In terms of the number of species recorded year to year, Powell Gardens' results have been fairly consistent since it became a count site in 2003. Count participants record an average of 47 species at the Gardens each year. For 2016, participants identified 45 species (same number as 2015). For a list of species identified at Powell Gardens, contact Karen Case at kcase@powellgardens.org. 

About Powell Gardens

Powell Gardens, Kansas City's botanical garden, is set on 970 acres of lush, rolling hills 30 miles east of Kansas City on Highway 50. Powell Gardens encompasses exquisite display gardens, trails, lakes, windswept meadows and more, and offers classes, performances and festivals year-round.