Butterflies topic of Owls Head Garden Club meeting
Owls Head — The Owls Head Garden Club will meet Wednesday, Oct. 2, at 10 a.m. at the Community Building on Ash Point Drive.
Following the business meeting, Professor Phillip deMaynadier will speak on The Maine Butterfly Survey: Keeping Track of Scaled Jewels at 11 a.m.
According to Dr. deMaynadier, insects comprise over half of all described species on earth and nearly three-fourths of all animals. One of Maine’s more colorful and conspicuous insect orders is the Lepidoptera — the butterflies and moths. Butterflies play an important ecological role both as pollinators of many wildflowers and as prey to larger species ranging from dragonflies to neotropical migrant birds. Butterflies are also widely recognized for their value as ecological indicators of ecosystem stress due to climate change, pollution, and habitat loss. Many neighboring states and provinces have compiled updated atlases of their butterfly fauna, but despite growing local interest in butterfly identification and conservation, Maine had only a rudimentary knowledge of the group, until recently.
This talk will provide a basic introduction to the biology and identification of butterflies and give an update on recent progress by the Maine Butterfly Survey — a comprehensive effort to document the distribution and status of winged jewels in Maine.
deMaynadier has worked as a wildlife biologist for Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife for 15 years where he currently serves as Leader of the Reptile-Amphibian-Invertebrate Group. He has authored more than 25 peer-reviewed publications and serves on the Graduate Faculty at University of Maine’s Department of Wildlife Ecology.
Some of Dr. deMaynadier’s recent projects include managing the state’s program for conserving high value vernal pools, researching the effects of road mortality on endangered turtles, developing standards for a national protected area network for rare herpetofauna, coordinating State atlasing efforts for butterflies, dragonflies, amphibians and reptiles, and advising landowners and land trusts on management guidelines for rare and endangered species. deMaynadier received his doctorate in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Maine in 1996 where he studied the effects of forest management practices on amphibians.