ORONO — Nature lovers who encounter fluttering butterflies might also be able to contribute to research about the colorful insects.

Researchers at the University of Maine say residents can use a mobile app to provide details about areas where butterflies are likely to be found. They plan to use the data as part of a model designed to predict the location of monarch butterfly nesting sites.

The UMaine researchers say monarch butterflies begin a 3,000-mile migration south every fall. They also say the number of monarchs that complete the migration has fallen by 90 percent in the past two decades.

App users will be able to answer a short survey and provide photos. They’ll be able to head to predetermined sites or find locations of their own.


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