Become a butterfly monitoring volunteer! Help assess the population status of our state's butterfly species, evaluate the quality of Michigan ecosystems, and engage in significant community science research!


Join a state-wide effort with The Michigan Butterfly Network, a butterfly conservation program of the Kalamazoo Nature Center, to monitor and gather vital data on local butterfly populations.

To Join

Interested volunteers must complete both a virtual and in-field training. Please refer to the Monitoring Workshops column for dates and times of workshops. Registration required. Limited to 10 volunteers.


Butterflies are powerful indicators of the quality and health of ecosystems. Sensitive to land use and habitat changes, many butterfly species have been declining in abundance due to habitat loss, fragmentation, and climate change. We are monitoring both common and rare butterflies during the summer months, and we need your help!

Monitoring butterfly populations allows us to better understand butterfly ecology, track population changes, and direct attention to species in decline before it is too late. 

Will you help make a difference in our state?


As a volunteer, you will monitor pre-determined survey routes on COL properties throughout the summer season. Your monitoring schedule is up to you! Once you have your route, you can visit whenever it is convenient. Data will be submitted through an online portal.

Have a favorite public trail in mind? Any public land that meets the monitoring requirements can be used as a site for this program, unfortunately private land cannot be used. 


To become a butterfly monitoring volunteer, you must complete two training sessions on how to properly follow butterfly monitoring protocols.

Virtual Training

We are working with the Kalamazoo Nature Center to coordinate the Butterfly Monitoring program. Please check back for training date.

Field Training: 

An in-person field day training allows you to put your virtual training into practice. Please check back for field training date.

Registration required. Register with Dan Engel at

Please visit the Michigan Butterfly Network website for more information about the program and additional dates and times for monitoring trainings that are held throughout the state.


Contact our Stewardship Coordinator, Dan Engel, at or call the COL office at (269) 405-1006.