Green Ridge SF Annual Counts

The MDLepsOdes Group (MDLOG) plans two NABA-sponsored counts for Green Ridge State Forest in 2023, in addition to a host of other field work in GRSF this year. Check back regularly for more details!

The NABA spring and summer counts for Green Ridge State Forest, as well as other field work during the year by regional butterfliers, has been instrumental in establishing baseline data for a number of populations of butterfly species of conservation concern and for helping plan forest management strategies to aid in their maintenance or recovery. Species of special interest to us in these counts are Olympia Marble, Silvery Blue, Cobweb Skipper, Hoary Edge, and Northern Metalmark.

Unlike many NABA counts that are centered on a pollinator garden or other geographically discrete resource, the GRSF counts take full advantage of the entire count radius and many habitats within the State Forest.

Generally, our count teams meet at 9 am (summer) or 10 am (spring) at the heart of the circle at the Oak Barrel Cafe/CITGO at exit 72 on I-68. We deploy into the field on assigned routes and reconnoiter for a tally rally at a nearby cafe at 6 pm. Anyone with an interest in learning about Maryland’s butterflies or in seeing how a NABA butterfly count works is welcome to join us; less experienced observers will be paired with veteran butterfliers. Net and release for identification is permitted; collection is not.

Contact to express an interest or sign up.

The 2023 Spring Count will be Saturday, April 22 (rain date April 23).

The 2023 Summer Count will be Saturday, July 8 (rain date July 9).

You can view representative (2021) summer count data here:

Region 17
Mid-Atlantic (DC, DE, MD, VA)

Carolyn Henly and Rick Cheicante, Regional Editors
1. Green Ridge State Forest, MD. Yr. 1, 39.6761°, -78.3447°, center at intersection of Harry Norris Road and Swain Hollow Road in Green Ridge State Forest, Allegany County. Elevation: 567-1158 ft. Includes Eastern portion of Green Ridge State Forest bounded to the west by Big Ridge Road; Billmeyer WMA; Sideling Hill WMA; southern arm of PA State Game Lands 128; C&O Canal. Managed pine and deciduous forest; successional forest; riverine flood plain; shale barrens; high elevation ridges and meadows. Uses of land: Primarily forestry and wildlife management. Imminent threats to habitat: Since most of the count circle lies within a forest managed primarily for timber production, spraying for forest pests (incl. Lymatria), logging and clearcutting present the most obvious concerns. But the underlying geology is shale barrens, and given fire suppression most of the available shale barren habitat is rapidly being covered over by tree canopy, a clear danger for the Northern Metalmarks. There is also a pernicious mowing regime that decimates the shoulders of the major roads through the State Forest, including vertical blades that remove nectar resources even from steep roadside shale outcrops. 10 July 2021; 0830-1700 hrs; sun AM 51-75%, PM 51-75%; 68-86°F; wind 0-5 mi/hr. 16 observers in 9 parties. Total party-hours 62; total party-miles on foot 37. Observers: K. Barylski, Rick Borchelt (4602 Drexel Road, College Park, MD, 20740;, J. Brighton, J. Cagle, R. Cheicante, D. Czaplak, T. Feild, D. Fravel, L. Fravel, W. Gould, J. Moore, M. Orsie, T. Reichard, T. Stock, B. Taylor, M. Taylor.
Species Observed: Pipevine Swallowtail 16, Zebra Sw. 10, Black Sw. 2, E. Tiger Sw. 41, Spicebush Sw. 16, Cabbage White 124, Clouded Sulphur 7, Orange Su. 33, Sleepy Orange 1, Harvester 4, Am. Copper 5, Coral Hairstreak 2, Banded Ha. 1, Juniper Ha. 11, Gray Ha. 3, E. Tailed-Blue 184, ‘Summer’ Spring Azure 4, 1N. Metalmark 201, Variegated Fritillary 1, Gr. Spangled Fr. 77, Pearl Crescent 333, Question Mark 4, E. Comma 4, Mourning Cloak 4, Am. Lady 4, Red Admiral 5, Red-spotted Purple 18, Tawny Emperor 1, N. Pearly-eye 12, Appalachian Brown 3, Little Wood-Satyr 59, Com. Wood-Nymph 45, Monarch 4, Silver-spotted Skipper 322, Hoary Edge 2, Horace’s Duskywing 3, Wild Indigo Du. 18, Fiery Sk. 1, Crossline Sk. 3, N. Broken-Dash 29, Little Glassywing 81, Sachem 10, Delaware Sk. 7, Dun Sk. 25. Total 44 species, 1740 individuals. Field Notes: 1reassuringly high count for this target species.

This is the official count circle for both GRSF Counts: