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Sixth annual butterfly count to take place July 9

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. -- Whether you’re a butterfly expert or would like to learn more about those butterflies native to Kansas, you can spend several hours or a whole day looking for them for the benefit of the North American Butterfly Association. The 6th annual Harvey County Butterfly Count will take place Saturday, July 9, beginning at 8:30 a.m. at Kauffman Museum in North Newton (corner of 27th and Main Streets).

Participants may spend a half or full day on the count. If you come for the whole day, bring a sack lunch. There is a charge of $3.50 per person, with $3 going to the North American Butterfly Association and 50 cents to local expenses. Children under 12 may join the count free but must be accompanied by an adult. The $3.50 fee is due at the time of the count.

Dwight Platt of North Newton, professor emeritus of biology at Bethel College, is the event organizer.

"Don’t hesitate to join the count simply because you can’t identify all butterflies," he said. "Each group will have a leader who can identify them."

Kansas is part of the Butterfly Association’s Plains Region, which also includes Nebraska and Oklahoma. In 2005, the Harvey County Butterfly Count was the only one in Kansas. "Among the 13 counts in the Plains Region, we were tied for fourth in number of species seen, with 50," Platt said. "We had the most observers with 17, although some other counts divided into more groups. We were sixth in the number of butterflies we saw, with 821. I hope we can keep up our good record."

Platt added that he hopes participants from past years will come out again, and bring others who are interested.

For more about the Harvey County Butterfly Count, or if you plan to participate, contact Dwight Platt at 702 NE 24th St., Newton, KS 67114, (316) 283-6708 or platword@southwind.net. Platt would like to know if you will join the count for a full or a half day and whether you can be a group leader.

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