MPG Ranch (Montana)

From 2014 to 2020, as part of their Pollinator Monitoring Program, the MPG Ranch Butterfly Monitoring Program tracked butterfly populations using modified Pollard Transects, timed surveys, inventory trips, and opportunistic sightings. Changes in relative abundance of butterfly populations were analyzed in terms of habitat restoration efforts, land management practices, weather events, and climate. Methods and results were used to study how both survey design and butterfly detectability affect butterfly monitoring projects across the continent. This program included opportunities for public outreach and encouraged interaction between citizen scientists and professional biologists.

Monitoring Activity Tracker


Coordinator: Pippen, Jeffrey S.
Program Started: 2014
Institution Type: Other
Data Availability: Contact Jeff Pippen.
Species Focus: All butterfly species
Contact: Jeffrey S. Pippen (


Protocol Type: Restricted search, Pollard, Plot
Data Type(s): Abundance
Survey Focus: Adults
Incidental Data Collected: Weather
Visit Frequency: Weekly
Effort Tracking: All surveys are timed.
Protocol Notes: Seven Pollard Routes were established (three in north site, four on main ranch) in 2014 and expanded to 14 (four at north site and ten on main ranch) by 2015. These follow modified Pollard protocols. During 2014 only, twenty-four circular plots (50m diameter) [note, not 250m] were also established and were exhaustively searched biweekly using a serpentine Pollard Walk for seven minutes -- those surveys were repeated three times during each plot visit. All surveys ended during the 2016 season. In 2018, surveys were re-started on the north property.
Taxonomic Standard: Modified Pelham 2013
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