The British Dragonfly Society is on the hunt for this rare and beautiful dragonfly and we need your help!
The Common Clubtail dragonfly (Gomphus vulgatissimus) is listed as Near Threatened on the British Red List. It is an elusive species which is found on a limited number of slow flowing stretches of mature, lowland rivers in southern Britain, with the River Dee supporting the most northerly population.
We have been growing increasingly concerned in recent years about the status of the Common Clubtail, with reports from our Local Dragonfly Recorders suggesting the species might be declining. It is unknown whether this is due to a decrease in records or a genuine decline. Because of its elusive nature the current records for the Common Clubtail are patchy and many of these are dated. In order to establish the status of the species, we need to change that.
Clubtail Count is easy to take part in and could lead to your first glimpse of this beautiful insect. Once allocated a survey area, you will carry out a minimum of 3 visits between May and July, simply walking along the river bank looking for the Common Clubtail or its skin cast. We warn you, this can get addictive! You don't even need prior experience of dragonfly identification: in your volunteer's welcome pack, you will receive an ID guide, which tells you all you need to know to identify this dragonfly. We are interested in the rivers Dee, Severn, Avon, Teme, Vyrnwy, Wye, Tywi, Teifi, Thames, Kennet, Otter and Arun.
This year we are launching a new citizen science survey aimed at understanding the decline in White-legged Damselfly populations in some areas: The White-legged Damselfly Investigation. As the Common Clubtail and White-legged Damselfly sometimes inhabit the same rivers, if you would like to also record White-legged Damselflies within your monad, you can find all you need to know here. This additional recording can be done at the same time as Clubtail Count, involving no extra work!
Choose Your Survey Square!
This year we are allowing volunteers to allocate themselves monads (1km by 1km survey square) using our interactive allocation map. Just take a look at the options on the map and double-click on the square or squares you would like to survey to allocate them to yourself. Take care when using the map to ensure you are choosing the correct square as any allocated square is no longer available to other surveyors. We will then email you the survey pack with all the information you need to know to carry out the survey. Survey square allocation is on a first come first serve basis, so don't delay!
Before choosing your square it is important that you ensure you have permission to walk alongside the river in that area. You can zoom in on the allocation map to check there are footpaths, bridleways or roads running to and along the river in each monad. For help on reading the map symbols, please visit the wiki open street map symbols website. If you are the landowner of the square or have permission from the landowner (i.e. you volunteer on a nature reserve and have permission to do the survey there) then there doesn't necessarily need to be footpath access.
Link to the iRecord website: https://www.brc.ac.uk/irecord/
Clubtail Count 2017 - The Results
Thanks to the hard work of all the volunteers, we’ve had a fantastic number of records to gather and analyse from last year’s Clubtail Count survey. And here are the results! Click on the PDF below to view the full report.