Image showing a mule deer in front of a full moon.
  USA-NPN Winter Newsletter

In This Issue
Next Up: Animal Phenology
Lilac Update
Winter to Spring
Quick Links

This winter we've been busy making changes to our online interface: adding animals to the program, building data visualizations and incorporating your suggestions to make observing easier. The changes will take effect in March and you can always find the latest guidelines under Observe! Thank you for your continued participation and we hope you'll consider adding animals to your list of species to watch in 2010.
Next up: Animal Phenology

Image showing an American Robin on a berry bush. Animals have phenology too and this spring the USA-NPN will be looking for your observations of animals. We will be tracking the arrival of American robins, those sentinels of spring, as well as the calling of wood frogs, the appearance of spring azure butterflies, the spawning of American shad, the breeding of white-tailed deer, and the egg-laying of painted turtles, to name a few.

Are these animals still seasonally matched with the plants that they use for food and habitat? Are they active earlier or later in the season? How are they handling the changing climate? Scientists and fish and wildlife managers are eager to know. You can help us find out! Learn more about our new animal phenology program and contribute your observations this spring!
Lilac Update

Image of lilac in bloom.The Cloned Plants Project was fully integrated into the new USA-NPN online data collection system and database in 2009.  Over 200 observers reported lilac data using the new system last year, and we hope to continue to grow rapidly.

We also want to ensure that all established observers have made the transition to the online system successfully.  If you are observing cloned lilac (Syringa chinensis) or common lilac (Syringa vulgaris) and are unsure how to report your observations, please send an email to so we can help you. 

The USA-NPN Cloned Plants Project is the continuation of the prototype USA-NPN data collection program, and the earlier Eastern North American Phenology program, run by Mark D. Schwartz since 1988 out of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Read more about the 50+ year history of this program and its scientific contributions, and find out how to become a lilac observer.
Winter to Spring
Image showing an orchard in winter.Although winter isn't typically thought of as an active time in plant and animal life cycles, the cold months are critical for orchards. Many tree species have irregular bloom and fruit times without a long enough cold period, wreaking havoc on the fruit and nut industries (read more on our website). Image of 'Early Spring' book cover.

Earlier springs are following on the heels of warmer winters, and the changes in spring phenology seen in New England are beautifully documented in Amy Seidl's new book Early Spring.
We look forward to hearing from you and seeing your observations this season!

USA National Phenology Network National Coordinating Office