Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Chicago Office and Partners Hold Seminar on Endangered Dragonfly Conservation
Midwest Region, March 13, 2014
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The Chicago Illinois Field Office and the Hine's Emerald Dragonfly Working Group are giving the only federally endangered dragonfly a helping hand!
The Chicago Illinois Field Office and the Hine's Emerald Dragonfly Working Group are giving the only federally endangered dragonfly a helping hand! - Photo Credit: Dr. Paul Burton

A 12.5-mile extension of I-355 in the Chicago metro area provided the impetus for forming a Working Group to plan and carry out conservation for the Hine’s emerald dragonfly (Somatochlora hineana). In the western suburbs of Chicago, this six-lane interstate extension crosses the lower Des Plaines River valley where wetlands intersected by the highway bridge are home to the endangered dragonfly.
The Illinois State Toll Highway Authority incorporated conservation measures into the project design, including creation of a Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly Working Group. The Working Group* has more than 17 partner organizations that include regulatory agencies, three county Forest Preserve Districts (which own the restoration sites), and representatives from academia and the private sector.
The Working Group collaborated in the early stages of consultation and before construction to identify habitat that needed to be assessed and surveyed. They then planned and carried out the approved conservation measures that included specifics of habitat restoration, genetics research and development of a captive rearing program for introduction into successfully created and restored habitat.
The Working Group held it annual seminar to present the results of restoration management, genetic analysis, captive rearing, adult and larval surveys and an assessment on the status of the species. They have expanded the annual meeting as a webinar that is made available to partners across the range of the Hine’s. This year’s meeting included more than 30 stakeholders from 16 organizations.


Accomplishments for the Working Group from the 2013 field season include Hine’s emerald dragonfly adult and larval surveys, research on mitigation measures to minimize and avoid impacts to the species from vehicular traffic; management of 63 acres of habitat; monitoring of breeding habitat creation; and, refinement of captive rearing techniques. The group planned 2014 efforts including surveys; translocation and reintroduction of crayfish (an essential component of Hine’s breeding habitat); research of dragonfly behavior around bridges with different designs; and, opportunities to collaborate and expand the captive rearing program in order to augment the Illinois population.

*The Hine’s emerald Dragonfly Work Group Members: USFWS (Chicago Field Office), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Chicago District), Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Illinois Natural History Survey, Illinois State Museum, University of South Dakota, Illinois State Toll Highway Authority, EarthTech, CTE, Inc., V3 Consultants, Forest Preserve Districts of Will, Cook, and DuPage Counties, DuPage County Department of Environmental Concerns, Will-South Cook Soil and Water Conservation District, and K-Plus Inc.

Contact Info: Kristopher Lah, (847) 381-2253 ext.15, Kristopher_Lah@fws.gov
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