Karner Volunteer Monitoring Program

volunteers collecting field data

What is the Karner Volunteer Monitoring Program?

The Karner blue butterfly is a federally endangered butterfly. Wisconsin is one of the last remaining strongholds in the entire Karner range. The Karner Volunteer Monitoring Program's goals are to document Karner observations throughout the state in order to track the population status, distribution, and trends. These data add to our long term data set and also aid the DNR in habitat management decisions. Data collected by volunteers is instrumental in allowing us to meet these goals.

See the 2020 Summer Survey Results.

photo of Karner blue butterfly

Why are Karners important?

Karners, like other butterflies, are very sensitive to environmental changes making them excellent indicators of healthy ecosystems. They serve as an early warning system for the ecosystem.

Karners' only host plant, wild lupine, grows in sandy soils, commonly found in barrens, prairies, and savannas. These types of habitat are also globally imperiled. The conservation and restoration work we do for Karners also benefits these habitats which over 50 other SGCNs (species of greatest conservation need) require for survival.

Visit the DNR website to learn more.

How can you get involved?

We need help monitoring local Karner populations! Volunteers use photo submissions via iNaturalist to contribute valuable data.

To become a volunteer:
photo of Karner blue butterfly

Training day details

Training for volunteers can be done online by watching these training videos. It is required for new volunteers and recommend for current volunteers, as a refresher. Don't forget to take the quiz. A zoom virtual field day will also be available for volunteers to join. Zoom meeting link available via email. Contact Chelsea to request the link.

photo of Karner blue butterfly
Photos courtesy of Chelsea Weinzinger, WiDNR

For more information contact:

Chelsea Weinzinger
KBB Recovery Coordinator
[email protected]
(608) 397-0631