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Protecting and Restoring Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly Habitat in Northeast Michigan
Midwest Region, April 11, 2016
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Hine's emerald dragonfly.
Hine's emerald dragonfly. - Photo Credit: David Cuthrell
Volunteers conferring over maps.
Volunteers conferring over maps. - Photo Credit: Brandon Schroeder
Crayfish burrow pumped during surveys for HED larvae.
Crayfish burrow pumped during surveys for HED larvae. - Photo Credit: Daria Hyde

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Coastal Program partnered with the Michigan Natural Features Inventory, Huron Pines, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources – Parks Division (DNR), Great Lakes Stewardship Network, and local community students and volunteers in Northeast Michigan to protect and restore Hine’s emerald dragonfly (Somatochlora hineana) habitat. The Hine’s emerald dragonfly is one of North America’s most endangered dragonflies as a result of habitat degradation and loss. Some locations where the species lives are threatened by invasion of non-native vegetation species.

 

The project, “Building Local Capacity to Protect and Restore Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly Habitat in Northeast Michigan," tested an approach of training students and volunteers from the local community to assist in conducting surveys for Hine’s emerald dragonfly while mapping and treating invasive plant species. Due to the limited number of people who can identify the Hine's emerald dragonfly, the project partners engaged and trained local State Park and Huron Pines staff, local volunteers, and environmental science students in the identification of the dragonfly and its habitat. Volunteers were also trained to identify invasive species and how to map these species if they were observed.

Over the course of the two-year project, adult Hine's emerald dragonflies were documented at four locations around Negwegon State Park and “probable” larval dragonflies were collected from two sites. The trained volunteers contributed 825 hours of time and mapped 548 locations of invasive plants. Follow-up invasive species treatment occurred on 400 acres of Hine's habitat; not only protecting the species, but also restoring and conserving their habitat of high-quality coastal fens and wooded dune and swale complexes. While raising awareness in a local community takes time and requires continued engagement from project partners, this project left a lasting impression on the community volunteers and students, especially the kids, and nurtured a local stewardship ethic that will continue to mature.


Contact Info: Dawn Marsh, 906-226-1212, dawn_marsh@fws.gov
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