This website contains over 34 years of data collected by Dr. Arthur Shapiro, professor of Evolution and Ecology at the University of California, Davis, in his continuing effort to regularly monitor butterfly population trends on a transect across central California. Ranging from the Sacramento River delta, through the Sacramento Valley and Sierra Nevada mountains, to the high desert of the western Great Basin, fixed routes at ten sites have been surveyed at approximately two-week intervals since as early as 1972. The sites represent the great biological, geological, and climatological diversity of central California.
As of the end of 2005, Dr. Shapiro has logged almost 5250 site-visits and tallied 77,549 individual records of 159 butterfly species and subspecies. This represents the world’s largest dataset of intensive site-specific data on butterfly populations collected by one per Materialson under a strict protocol. We have also collated monthly climate records for the entire study period from weather stations along the transect.
ICE, in cooperation with others, is designing and developing a relational database containing regional butterfly occurrence and climate data, and will make it freely and permanently available online in several formats. The web interface will feature a variety of tools that will permit visualization of both temporal and spatial components of an extraordinary 30 years of population and community dynamics collected by Dr. Arthur Shapiro along an altitudinal transect in Northern California. The database architecture will be adaptable for other population ecology monitoring projects including those under development at the National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII), the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), and World Data Center for biological information recently approved by the International Council of Scientific Unions.