As the year comes to a close we thought it would be a good time to reflect on the dragonfly year 2016. It has been another fascinating year in the world of UK dragonflies, for example, the apperance of four Vagrant Emperors, two on the Scilly Isles and two on Orkney, in October 2016. The one pictured right was thought dead before a dramatic recovery and release! It has also been a successful year for the BDS. We take a look at some of our best moments below:
Willow Emerald Watch: this project has gone from strength to strength with records of the species flooding in this year, including from four new counties: Bedfordshire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire. If you would like to get involved in the project, click here.
Mike Dilger as President: we welcomed BBC's One Show presenter, Mike Dilger, to the BDS team. Mike has a huge enthusiasm for dragonflies, which he displayed amply at the BDS Annual Meeting this November.
Dorset Southern Damselflies: the group's first survey season got off to a great start with a brilliant turnout at the volunteer's ID session. Surveys have revealed a new population on Creech Heath (ARC site) and a strong population confirmed on the River Mude. For more on the project, click here.
New Scottish Hotspot at WWT Caerlaverock: The BDS teamed up with the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust to add Caerlaverock, in Dumfries and Galloway, to the Scottish Hotspots list, giving us a total of 10 Scottish Hotspots! We celebrated with a giant lego dragonfly. For more on our Scottish Hotspots and visiting information, click here.
Norfolk Hawker at Wicken Fen: our DCG convenor, Pam Taylor, spotted this beautiful species at Wicken Fen, home of the the BDS Dragonfly Centre, on Dragonfly Day! This is a new record for the site and further evidence of the Norfolk Hawker spreading in recent years. For more on the Dragonfly Centre, click here.
Reaching the Next Generation: we celebrated the release of the new BDS Education Pack, including teaching materials, fun activities, crafts and more. Click here to take a look now - there are some great crafts for the Christmas break!
White-faced Darter: we had a record count of over 2000 exuviae from the reintroduction at Wildlife Trust's Foulshaw Moss, Cumbria, with thanks to the many BDS volunteers who counted these. Meanwhile, 2016 was Delamere re-introduction's final year. Read the press release on Foulshaw Moss here.
Connecting People with Dragonflies: We have run and attended over 70 walks, talks, courses and events in 2016 right across the UK. We have also run 7 work parties to improve habitats for dragonflies,including work on our Glen Affric Peatland Restoration Project. For upcoming BDS events, click here.
Sir David's Dragonfly: BDS members took part in a trip to Madagascar when a new species was discovered! It has been named in honour of BDS Patron Sir David Attenborough for his 90th birthday. The species, Acisoma attenboroughi, was revealed in the BBC programme ‘Attenborough at 90’. See the press releae here.
Shropshire Clubtail Survey: BDS volunteers managed to add an amazing 90 records of this elusive species along the Shropshire Severn to the database, greatly increasing our knowledge of the species in the county. Records included exuviae found in Shrewsbury Town Centre. Watch this space for more Clubtail action in the New Year...
State of Nature: leading professionals from 53 wildlife organisations, including the BDS, pooled expertise and knowledge to present the clearest picture to date of the status of our native species, revealing that one in ten UK species are threatened with extinction. For more on the State of Nature, click here.
Thank you to our many volunteers who made all this and more possible!
Thinking of a New Year's resolution? Why not join us in saving dragonflies? You can learn new skills, meet like-minded enthusiasts and enjoy making a real difference to these magical creatures and their wetland habitats. Click here to find out more.
Photo credits: Vagrant Emperor: Graeme Walker, Willow Emerald Damselfly: Christophe Brochard, Mike Dilger: Mark Tyrrell, Southern Damselfly: Christophe Brochard, Lego dragonfly: WWT Caerlaverock, Norfolk Hawker: Christophe Brochard, White-faced Darter: Christophe Brochard