I very much appreciated Eric Wagner's adept account of the Butterfly Big Year on which I am embarked (HCN, 8/04/08). There was, however, one vital omission, no doubt due to space. I would greatly appreciate your noting that the Big Year is being conducted as a Butterfly-a-thon to benefit the habitat conservation programs of the Xerces Society, the international organization for invertebrate conservation. People are pledging pennies or dollars for every species I encounter, and all proceeds will go directly for rare butterfly habitat protection. It is not too late to take part, and to show support for our butterflies.
Interested HCN readers may learn more about insect conservation, make a pledge, and read my Web log of the Big Year journey (handwritten on leaves, beer mats, etc.) by visiting www.xerces.org. Several of the illustrations for the article came from this source. The most recent entry, by the way, originates high in Colorado's San Juan Mountains, where I pursued (and found) the lovely, federally endangered Uncompahgre fritillary.
Robert Michael Pyle
Gray's River, Washington