grill counts (aka cars and bugs)

Kondla, Norbert FOR:EX Norbert.Kondla at
Wed Sep 16 14:11:37 EDT 1998

the frightening numbers provided courtesy of mark walker's mathematical
prowess prompts me to share a few observations on the topic of vehicles and
butterfly mortality. one sunny day in the southern yukon i crested a rise on
a mining road and came to a screeching halt when i saw the road carpeted
with puddling hoards of male lycaeides idas. safe guess what would have
happened had a non-butterfly person being driving there. in forested areas
of western canada the numerous mining, logging, oil, gas and sundry other
unpaved roads that wind through the forests are heavily used by a host of
species for puddling, nectaring at roadside flowers, sunning in the
resultant forest canopy break, or sitting on the road surface in the shade
on hot days and also as linear flyways. in the not uncommon situations where
a seep or other water source provides a wet or damp road surface(or even a
rainstorm the day before) the concentrations can be impressive. since most
people do not even see butterflies as they drive down the road we again have
a substantial mortality source - imagine the havoc from the multiple wheels
of a loaded logging truck on a group of puddlers. the one upside to this sad
state of affairs is that road kills on these lo speed backwoods roads do
provide a ready source of voucher specimens for those of us who enjoy
documenting distribution (think its called 'atlasing' in some places) 
Norbert Kondla  P.Biol., RPBio.
Forest Ecosystem Specialist, Ministry of Environment
845 Columbia Avenue, Castlegar, British Columbia V1N 1H3
Phone 250-365-8610
Mailto:Norbert.Kondla at

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