Over the last two decades, recreational watching of butterflies, dragonflies, and their close relatives has gained popularity as user-friendly field guides, close-focus binoculars, and digital cameras have become readily available. To support this activity and enhance our constituents’ environmental awareness, VDGIF’s Bureau of Wildlife Resources partnered with the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Natural Heritage Program to produce a publically-accessible web Atlas of Rare Butterflies, Skippers, Moths, Dragonflies, and Damselflies of Virginia.
This 2-year effort presents photographs, maps, and other information regarding the identification, distribution, habits and habitats, ecology, and legal status of 193 species of rare Virginia Lepidoptera and Odonata, 133 of which are recognized as Species of Greatest Conservation Need in Virginia’s Wildlife Action Plan. The project was initiated through a Nongame Wildlife Program research contract, and funded via a State and Tribal Wildlife Grant (SWG) from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.