Using community science to protect the butterflies of Canada
Community science is emerging as a powerful tool to answer scientific questions and to involve the public in educational activities. eButterfly, the Montreal Insectarium community science program, is one of the largest citizen science programs on insects in North America, and has great potential to inform management decisions across Canada during these crucial times for biodiversity conservation. During this fellowship, I will use cutting-edge statistical models and capitalize on thousands of checklists collected by volunteers to assess the diversity and status of the butterflies of Canada. These analyses will allow me to recommend areas of conservation priority for the establishment of new protected areas across Canada, and best practices for monitoring, management, and conservation of butterflies. The Montreal Insectarium will gain important insights on how to maximize the use of its large eButterfly dataset, as well as visibility as a scientific hub through the publication of relevant research articles in internationally recognized scientific journals.