Monmouthshire Dragonfly Recording Update 5, April 2023
If you’re wondering why I’m sending this update so soon after the last one, it’s because…
The atlas maps are now live!
It’s taken a while, but there are now distribution maps on the British Dragonfly Society’s website for all species recorded in the county. Click here to go to the species index.
There’s also an aggregate map combining all records of all species here.
Records are plotted at kilometre-square (monad) resolution, using three date-classes: (i) records from 2020 onwards, (ii) records from 2000 to 2019 but not since and (iii) and records prior to 2000 but not since, so that each species map (and the aggregate map) show not just where dragonflies have been recorded recently, but where they were recorded in the past. Some of the apparent declines shown on the species maps will be real, and others will simply be because no-one has visited an area recently. If you want to make a significant addition to our knowledge of Monmouthshire’s dragonflies, you might like to use the aggregate map to identify areas no-one has visited yet, or the individual species maps to identify opportunities to rediscover “lost” species like Variable Damselfly (Coenagrion pulchellum).
Each species map is accompanied by some text outlining what we know about the status of each species, and giving suggestions as to where recording would be of most value to help fill in gaps in our knowledge.
there are maps for 33 species
the total number of records used to produce the maps is 7,137
over 500 records have been contributed in each of the last five years (over 600 in 2019 and 2022), although the year with the most records is 1985, when some intensive surveys took place on the Gwent Levels.
272 kilometre-squares have post-2019 records, and a further 295 square have pre-2020 records but no post-2019 records
948 kilometre-squares have no records at all (yet)
The intention is to update the maps regularly (annually if possible) to show our progress in covering the county. Some very recently-entered records have not made it onto the maps yet, so if you’ve recorded a species and there isn’t a dot on the map for it, that’s probably the reason, but please get in touch to let me know of any omissions, just in case something has gone awry in the map compilation process. Any other feedback on the maps (good or bad) will be welcome.
An appeal for photographs
I’d like to add photographs to each of the pages, depicting the dragonflies in question. If you have good quality photographs (preferably taken locally) of any of the 33 species and would like to help with this, I’d be very pleased to hear from you.
Some other website updates
Based on the information on the maps, I’ve updated the county list (there are no additions or deletions, but the comments about distribution have been brought up to date, and some changes have been made to the supporting evidence requested for certain species). I’ve also brought the species sequence and names in line with the British Dragonfly Society’s standard list. The list of species of conservation importance is likely to need an update in the light of the atlas data: that’s a project for later in the year.
Steve Preddy, Monmouthshire County Dragonfly Recorder, British Dragonfly Society