The British Dragonfly Society is on the hunt for this rare and beautiful Scottish dragonfly and we need your help!


Northern Damselfly Coenagrion hastulatum is listed as Endangered on the British Red List. It is a species with a very limited distribution in Scotland, generally only found within the Cairngorms National Park area, Deeside and North Perthshire. Many of their historic sites have suffered from habitat degradation due to poor or no management. Many of its known sites have not been visited for many years so we need to know whether the species still persists at these sites or not.

We have been growing increasingly concerned in recent years about the status of the Northern Damselfly due to the loss of their habitats and colonisation by other damselfly species. It is not yet clear whether these new species will provide competition for resources.

Project Aims

  • Train volunteers to identify and record Northern Damselfly.
  • Encourage the recording of Northern Damselfly in under-recorded areas.
  • Compare the current distribution and populations of Northern Damselfly with previous atlas data.
  • Identify any new sites where Northern Damselfly is found.
  • Use collated datasets to assess the need for conservation action regarding Northern Damselfly and its habitat.


Survey Summary

The survey is easy to take part in and you can make it as easy or as challenging as you like depending on your confidence in recognising the species. Once allocated a survey area, you will carry out a minimum of 2 visits, preferable one in June and one in July. Further visits can be completed outside of these months for larvae.

You don’t even need prior experience of dragonfly identification as all the resources you need to get going are provided below.


Who can volunteer?

Anyone! It is a great activity for beginners wanting to learn more about dragonflies as you only need to identify one species or for improvers as you can challenge yourself to identify larvae. Hopefully you’ll also see lots of other exciting wildlife along the way!


How to Volunteer

Choose your 1km survey square(s). Visit the Northern Damselfly registration map below to pick one or more 1km square that you would like to survey this year. You may wish to view the area on a more detailed OS grid map or an aerial view first to check access, etc (see below).

You will also automatically be signed up to the Northern Damselfly Survey mailing list for information and updates related to this project.

Registration Map


Available Priority: Priority square for surveying to confirm ongoing presence

Available: Squares which have been visited frequently in the past

Pending: Square has been requested by another volunteer

Taken: Square has been taken by another volunteer

Species Profile

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