eNews | July 2022
View of Lake Champlain from Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain Fire Tower. © Rosie De Lise
A Field Guide to July
'Tis the season for summer foraging! June has passed, with its delicious wild strawberries and serviceberries. July is ushered in, bringing wild blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries, along with some non-berry foraging opportunities–true Chanterelles.

Click here to read the full field guide to July.
Predicting the Forests of Tomorrow with the Observations of Today
A map of the current and potentially expanded range of oak species in Vermont. Created by Mike Hallworth
How many species live in Vermont, where are they found, and how will the state’s biodiversity change in the future? VCE's upcoming State of Biodiversity report uses over 7 million species observations within Vermont to examine these questions, and more. See how we used the data to predict where in Vermont several oak (Quercus) species occur now and how climate change may affect their ranges in the future.

Click here to learn more.
Evolution in Spatial Tracking of Bicknell’s Thrush

Two Bicknell's Thrushes, one with a GPS tracker (right, © Kevin Tolan) and the other with a light-level geolocator (left, © Kent McFarland)
In VCE’s 30+ years of Bicknell’s Thrush (BITH) research, we’ve used many methods to unlock the species’ ecological secrets. We’re talking tissue samples, nest cameras, and a myriad of tracking technologieswe’ve done it all! Many of you have been following our current, groundbreaking GPS tracking study, but did you know that this isn’t our first time deploying tracking units on BITH?

Click here to read the full story on our blog.
After 25 years, Several Two-spotted Lady Beetles are Rediscovered in Vermont
One of the Two-spotted Lady Beetles discovered during the statewide lady beetle bioblitz. © Julia Pupko
The Two-spotted Lady Beetle was feared to be extinct in Vermont until the Vermont Atlas of Life rallied biologists and community scientists to help search for the species. Against all odds, several Two-spotted Lady Beetles were found and photographed after a 25-year hiatus.

Click here to read the whole story.
July Loon Update

An adult Common Loon flies over Long Pond. © Ian Clark
We can scarcely believe that we're already halfway through Vermont's loon breeding season, but so much has happened since we started monitoring our lakes this spring. As of June 30, we have confirmed 96 total nests statewide—among those, 34 have successfully hatched, while 14 have failed for various reasons—with 47 chicks being tended by their parents. Click here to read the full update.

You can support Vermont's loons with a gift to VCE's Vermont Loon Conservation Project.
Thanks for being part of the Common Loon's success in Vermontwe raise our binoculars to you!
Orchid Missing Since 1902 Rediscovered in Vermont
The newly discovered Small Whorled Pogonia. © John Gange
In June, botanists with the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department confirmed that a population of Small Whorled Pogonia—believed to be extinct in Vermont since 1902 and federally listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act—has been documented on Winooski Valley Park District conservation land in Chittenden County. This plant is a globally rare orchid historically found across the eastern states and Ontario. Previous searches for the species in Vermont were unsuccessful. The department was first notified of a possible population in Vermont thanks to the observations of two community scientists: John Gange of Shelburne and Tom Doubleday of Colchester.

Read the full story at VTDigger.
Vermont Mission Monarch Blitz
(July 27-August 9, 2022)
Calling all naturalists and butterfly-watching enthusiasts! Help us monitor Monarch butterfly populations during the Vermont Mission Monarch Blitz, part of the much larger International Monarch Monitoring Blitz. Our aim is to observe the status of Monarch populations across Vermont and beyond each year during this critical period of their life cycle.

We need your help to gather these dataparticipation is simple! From backyards to mountain meadows, all you need is a place where milkweed is growing to survey for eggs, caterpillars, chrysalises, or adults. Just complete one or more missions between July 27 and August 9, and add your observations to Mission Monarch.

Find out more about how to participate on the Vermont Mission Monarch Blitz website.
Celebrate National Moth Week and Participate in the Vermont Moth Blitz (July 23-31, 2022)
Explore Vermont’s astounding moth diversity by participating in our annual Moth Blitz! You can play a part in helping the Vermont Moth Atlas develop a better understanding of the moths that call the Green Mountain State home. Over 2,200 moth species have been documented in Vermont so far, with new species being discovered all the time. Who knows, maybe you will find one! We encourage everyone, from amateur enthusiasts to experts to find, photograph, and share their moth discoveries with the Vermont Moth Blitz during National Moth Week. 

VCE Front and Center at Puerto Rico
Ornithology Conference
Chris Rimmer with two of VCE's Haitian conservation partners at the closing conference reception in San Juan: Elio Dortilus (left) and Maxon Fildor (right).
Ryan Rebozo and Chris Rimmer just returned from a week-long joint meeting of the American Ornithological Society and BirdsCaribbean in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The get-together was titled "On the Wings of Recovery: Resilience & Action", and brought together more than 750 students, ornithologists, and bird conservationists from all over North America and the Caribbean. Ryan and Chris networked extensively with partners from the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Canada, and the U.S. Through all of the chitchat, Chris also presented a talk on challenges and opportunities for conservation of Hispaniolan endemic birds as part of a symposium titled "Planning for resiliency of Caribbean island endemics." The conference represented a strong step forward for VCE's Caribbean program, and we look forward to keeping you up-to-date with our partners' work. 
Photo-observation of the Month
Cream-spotted Ladybird
by Levi Smith
An adorable Cream-spotted Ladybird. © Levi Smith
Congratulations to Levi Smith for winning the June 2022 Photo-observation of the Month for the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist! His photo of a charmingly-patterned lady beetle received the most faves of any iNaturalist observation in Vermont during the past month. Visit the VCE Blog for more info and view fantastic images of the runners-up in the June 2022 Photo-observation of the Month.

Of the 700+ observations of 21 different lady beetle species uploaded to the Vermont Atlas of Life during the month of June, Levi’s photo was the cream of the crop. The Vermont Lady Beetle Atlas is an ongoing project to seek out and document these colorful little beetles. The second and third spots this month were taken by two other rarely seen lady beetles found during the 2022 Vermont Lady Beetle Bioblitz. As its name might suggest, the Cream-spotted Ladybird often shows creamy white spots on its elytra (wing covers), though several other color morphs of this species exist. One of these can only be described as a beetle with two valentine’s-day-worthy hearts on its back that Levi photographed wonderfully this month. Keep an eye out in your backyards or local meadows for these colorful little beetles, and visit the Vermont Lady Beetle Atlas homepage linked above to find tips on searching for and identifying Vermont’s lady beetles.

Visit the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist, where you can vote for the winner this month by clicking the ‘fave’ star on your favorite photo-observation. Make sure you get outdoors and record the biodiversity around you, then submit your discoveries and you could be a winner!
The Vermont Center for Ecostudies promotes wildlife conservation across the Americas using the combined strength of scientific research and community engagement. Find us online at vtecostudies.org