US Geological Survey


Date of this Version



Published in Am. Midl. Nat. 140:358–371.


Checklist and ‘‘Pollard Walk’’ butterfly survey methods were contemporaneously applied to seven public sites in North Dakota during the summer of 1995. Results were compared for effect of method and site on total number of butterflies and total number of species detected per hour. Checklist searching produced significantly more butterfly detections per hour than Pollard Walks at all sites. Number of species detected per hour did not differ significantly either among sites or between methods. Many species were detected by only one method, and at most sites generalist and invader species were more likely to be observed during checklist searches than during Pollard Walks. Results indicate that checklist surveys are a more efficient means for initial determination of a species list for a site, whereas for long-term monitoring the Pollard Walk is more practical and statistically manageable. Pollard Walk transects are thus recommended once a prairie butterfly fauna has been defined for a site by checklist surveys.