Butterflies and Moths of North AmericaEntry ID: BMNA_33
Abstract: The Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA) project is ambitious effort to collect and provide access to quality-controlled data about butterflies and moths. The project is housed at Montana State University and directed by Kelly Lotts and Thomas Naberhaus. Our goal is to fill the needs of scientists and nature observers by bringing verified occurrence and life history data into one ... accessible location.
BAMONA is a rich data source that grows daily. Citizen scientists of all ages and experience levels participate by taking photographs of butterflies and moths and then submitting their observations. Additional BAMONA data come from museum and personal collections, published literature, and professional lepidopterists. Quality control is provided by collaborating lepidopterists who serve as regional coordinators. Standardized data and metadata are stored in a database and accessible through the web site via checklists, species profiles, maps displaying point data, and other tools.
Purpose: There is a growing need for easily accessible, digitized, reliable, and integrated species distribution data to support scientific research. BAMONA utilizes cutting-edge technology and a vast network of recreational and professional lepidopterists to help fill this need.
In recent years, research has indicated that butterflies and other species appear to be shifting their ranges in response to ... climatic change. Additionally, there is evidence that some butterflies are emerging earlier in the year; this altered timing of metamorphosis may indicate ecosystem changes. Studies on pollinator declines also show alarming trends, mostly in bees, but data on other pollinators is sorely needed. Research of these types and scales require far more data than any single scientist can amass.
While museum collections, personal collections, published literature, and paper field guides contain valuable data, these sources:
can be out of date,
contain varying levels of detail,
can require considerable effort to access, and
are often known only to a limited circle of lepidopterists.
When asking complex questions, scientists need to spend time conducting analysis, not amassing data or tracking down individual personal collections one by one to map species ranges or abundance.
The BAMONA project aims to serve as a one-stop database of butterfly and moth data that scientists can use to form or to address research questions. While it is a collaborative effort between individuals with varying levels of knowledge and experience with Lepidoptera, contributors share a common goal of assembling high quality data on butterfly and moth distribution.
ISO Topic Category
Quality Data quality is an issue for all citizen science projects because the value of the database is only as good as its weakest record. Because many species can look very similar and because it can be quite difficult to make identifications, the BAMONA project requires a photograph with each citizen science submission. Records are only accepted if a coordinator can verify a species identification from ... the submitted photograph. Species that cannot be distinguished by their appearance require a specimen for further examination or dissection.
Maps and checklists shown on this web site display data from a variety of sources that have varying amounts of metadata such as date, specific location, and data source. If you have any questions about a species checklist or a data point seen on a map, please contact us and the details can be provided. Details of recently verified sightings can be accessed via the recent sightings page.
Data originally collected from the NPWRC (see the History section) were saved with minimal supporting details and these records have been mapped as county centroids, not actual localities. Data collected since 2005 have included date, submitter, collection information, and location details. These records with addresses have been geocoded (when possible) to find their latitude/longitude, and other records are displayed at the latitude/longitude as submitted. The online submission process requires latitude/longitude values, so all records submitted through this process are displayed on the map using the submitted coordinates.
Users of this site need to understand that data are more complete for some species and counties/regions/states/provinces than others. Absence of a record for a particular species may mean that 1) the species does not occur there, 2) the species is present but has not been detected and reported yet, or 3) a record exists but has not yet been added to our database.
Use Constraints Maps shown on this web site were initially created by manually coding maps in
the original publications and creating new maps from those data. The new maps
were checked for errors, but there is a possibility that some errors remain.
Current maps also reflect new county records that have been established since
the date of publication. Users of this ... site need to understand that data are
more complete for some species and counties than others. Absence of a county
record for a particular species may mean that 1) the species does not occur
there, 2) the species is present but has not been detected and reported yet, or
3) a county record exists but has not yet been added to our database.
Data Set Progress
Role: DIF AUTHOR
Phone: (301) 614-6898
Email: Tyler.B.Stevens at nasa.gov
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Global Change Master Directory
Province or State: MD
Postal Code: 20771
Creation and Review Dates
DIF Creation Date: 2007-03-12
Last DIF Revision Date: 2011-09-20