Observations by 2022 BIMBY Seekers will inform conservationists and policy-making

VANCOUVER | TRADITIONAL, UNCEDED TERRITORIES OF THE xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (MUSQUEAM), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (SQUAMISH) AND səlilwətaɬ (TSLEIL-WAUTUTH) FIRST NATIONS — This year, 345 British Columbians joined the David Suzuki Foundation’s Butterflies in My Backyard project (BIMBY) and were overwhelmingly successful in meeting their goals to help find endangered and prevalent butterflies, better understand their relationship with native plants, create data for conservation biologists and foster a supportive community.

As the 2022 season wrapped up last month, BIMBY participants posted 8,400 observations on iNaturalist (50 per cent of total observations). Together, they documented 118 butterfly species in B.C.

“The 8,400 BIMBY seeker observations account for about 21 per cent of all the butterfly observations that have ever been made in British Columbia,” said BIMBY seeker John Reynolds, conservation ecologist at Simon Fraser University and past chair of the committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. “For one summer, this is quite amazing.”

Citizen science happens when scientists and researchers collaborate with non-scientists to advance our understanding of the world.

“Scientists are gathering for the international UN biodiversity summit (or, NatureCOP), in Montreal this December. This is the time when we need more citizen science,” said Winnie Hwo, BIMBY project lead.

The BIMBY season wrapped up in October, with 345 volunteers from 94 communities in B.C. having joined the project on iNaturalist.

“BIMBY Seekers uploaded photographed species ranging from the common cabbage white to the highly endangered Johnson’s hairstreak, as well as 116 other species throughout the province,” said Michelle Tseng, BIMBY research lead and UBC zoologist.

BIMBY 2022 also included an interactive school program.

“As a celebration of B.C.’s biodiversity, the Bioblitz is aimed at helping students learn about plants, pollinators and citizen science,” said Alex Wong, lead organizer and researcher for the BIMBY School Bioblitz. “With 1,000 students from 30 schools across the province adding 253 observations and identifying 89 species from bees to butterflies, the BIMBY School Bioblitz 2022 was quite a feat.”

Additional quotes:

“Although scientists create and uncover knowledge from their research, there is sometimes a lack of knowledge transfer from the scientific community to the general public. Citizen science projects such as the BIMBY project help facilitate knowledge sharing while also collecting valuable data to help address pressing issues. It is a win-win!”

– Stephen Deedes-Vincke, IT Specialist and BIMBY iNaturalist lead

“Volunteering with BIMBY seekers has brought out my inner scientist. Newly retired, I am helping with important research that BIMBY and the David Suzuki Foundation are doing to increase our understanding about the habitat and food requirements of butterflies and how human activities and climate change impact these beautiful pollinators. By identifying and tracking butterfly populations in B.C., BIMBY seekers are helping to monitor the health of B.C. butterflies.”

– Ellen Scott, BIMBY seeker from Thomson, Okanagan

“Providing my observations was both educational and satisfying, as I feel I’m contributing to a provincewide project in support of fundamental research that may help us understand how butterfly populations are evolving. It is a great experience to feel I’m contributing to fundamental research that may help us take action to preserve habitats for our endangered butterfly species.”

– Anne Mowat, BIMBY seeker from Glade, West Kootenays

“Chasing butterflies allowed me moments of childish abandon — dropping whatever I was doing to simply watch, follow and score a great photo if I was patient enough. The ability to engage with the BIMBY project by watching for butterflies while wandering around our Creston orchard performing all the seasonal chores was a perfect fit. In the years I’ve been walking the path, I’ve come to look forward to the seasonal floral displays. Now I can also look forward to watching the butterflies I was able to document this year.”

– Karen England, BIMBY seeker from Creston

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Read the full “Butterflies in My Backyard (BIMBY) — The Great B.C. Butterfly Search” report.

For more information or a media interview, please contact:

Brendan Glauser: bglauser@davidsuzuki.org, (604) 356-8829
Winnie Hwo, BIMBY Project Lead: winnie@davidsuzuki.org, (778) 866-6371


The David Suzuki Foundation (DavidSuzuki.org | @DavidSuzukiFdn) is a leading Canadian environmental non-profit organization, founded in 1990. We operate in English and French, with offices in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. We collaborate with all people in Canada, including Indigenous leadership and communities, governments, businesses and individuals to find solutions to create a sustainable Canada through scientific research, traditional ecological knowledge, communications and public engagement, and innovative policy and legal solutions. Our mission is to protect nature’s diversity and the well-being of all life, now and for the future. We envision a day where we all act on the understanding that we are one with nature.

The Butterflies in My Backyard (BIMBY) project is a B.C.-based citizen science campaign hosted by the David Suzuki Foundation on the iNaturalist platform. BIMBY volunteers work alongside UBC zoologist Michelle Tseng and UBC Botanical Garden associate director Tara Moreau to observe and collect data on B.C. butterflies. Their goal is to help find endangered and prevalent butterflies and better understand their relationship with native plants. More than 345 volunteers joined the Butterflies in My Backyard project in 2022.