April 23, 2010
Georgia Parham 812-334-4261 x 1203
Kris Lah 847-381-2253
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Revises Critical Habitat for Endangered Dragonfly
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today published a revised designation of critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act for the endangered Hine’s emerald dragonfly. That revised designation includes 26,532 acres in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin.
The Service originally designated critical habitat for the Hine’s emerald dragonfly in 2007. This revision adds an additional 13, 311 acres of National Forest Service lands in Michigan and Missouri. The areas designated as critical habitat in Illinois and Wisconsin, are unchanged and remain the same as the 2007 designation.
With the revision, the total acreage of designated critical habitat for the dragonfly is 2,995 acres in Illinois, 14,348 acres in Michigan, 348 acres in Missouri, and 8,841 acres in Wisconsin. These lands encompass wet meadows, groundwater seeps, and associated wetlands overlying dolomite bedrock that provide breeding and foraging habitat for the dragonfly.
The Service excluded 959 acres of state and privately owned lands in Missouri from the final critical habitat designation. These areas were excluded from final critical habitat based on their species-specific management plans or partnerships.
Critical habitat is defined in the Endangered Species Act as geographic areas that contain features essential for the conservation of a threatened or endangered species and may require special management considerations or protection.
The Hine’s emerald dragonfly, which was listed as endangered in 1995, is approximately 2.5 inches in length and has brilliant green eyes. The dragonfly inhabits wetlands and sedge meadows underlain by dolomite bedrock and fed by calcareous groundwater seepage. The larval stage is aquatic, occupying rivulets and seepage areas within wetland systems. Adults are found in wetlands and also feed along shrub and forest edges near wetland habitat.
Threats to the species include destruction of its habitat, pollution and changes in groundwater. Once found in several states including Indiana, Alabama and Ohio, the Hine’s emerald dragonfly now occurs only in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin.
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