Dragonflies : status survey and conservation action plan

Dragonflies, those beautiful and colourful creatures which can often be seen hovering above water, pre-date dinosaurs. Today, some 5,000 species have been described and many more await discovery and description. The value of dragonflies lies in their beauty and distinctive colours which make them valuable subjects for research on insect behaviour, both for ecology and art; the fact that their larvae are aquatic makes them a good indicator of water quality; and because they are predators, they are particularly useful in the control of mosquitoes which pass on diseases to human beings. However, most species of dragonflies live in the tropics and particularly in the rainforests. The rapid destruction of their habitat therefore poses a direct threat to their survival making their conservation urgent. This action plan takes a look at the threats facing dragonflies, proposes some solutions for their conservation and elaborates a strategy for its implementation.