Endangered Species
Midwest Region



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Conserving and restoring threatened and endangered species and their ecosystems


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Hine' emerald dragonfly resting on a snag.

Photo courtesy of Dan Soluk


Hine's emerald dragonfly (Somatochlora hineana)


The Hine's emerald dragonfly was first discovered in Ohio, but by the mid-1900's it was believed to be extinct. In 1988 a specimen collected in the Des Plaines River Valley (southwest of Chicago) in Illinois was later identified as this species. Subsequent surveys uncovered additional populations there, as well as northeast Wisconsin, Michigan, and Missouri. All are associated with areas of groundwater-fed wetlands that are perched over limestone bedrock.


The Hine's emerald dragonfly, listed as endangered, is found in Illinois, Missouri, Michigan and Wisconsin. Adults lay their eggs in small streams in fens and sedge meadows. After hatching, the aquatic larvae spend up to five years in wetlands before completely maturing and emerging as adult dragonflies.

Hine's emerald dragonfly by John Cabbott

Photo courtesy of John Cabbott



Endangered, listed January 26, 1995


Critical Habitat Designated Sept. 5, 2007


Habitat: Spring fed wetlands, wet meadows and marshes; calcareous streams & associated wetlands overlying dolomite bedrock


Lead Region: 3


Region 3 Lead Office: Chicago, Illinois Field Office


Range: Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Wisconsin




Fact Sheet


Species Spotlight USFWS Chicago Field Office


Critical Habitat


Species Profile (links to National USFWS Endangered Species website)




April 11, 2016: Protecting and Restoring Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly Habitat in Northeast Michigan: 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.


Speed Limits Could Save Rarest Dragonfly

Researcher Amber Furness, a conservation biologist working with Univeristy of South Dakota professor Daniel Soluk, mounted GoPro cameras on a pickup truck and drove the Door County roads in 2012 and 2013, varying her speed from 15 mph (24 km/h) to 55 mph (88 km/h) in increments of 10 mph (16 km/h). The cameras picked up each dragonfly's position before impact. Every time Furness hit a dragonfly, she tried to collect the carcass and verify the kill (a screen kept the insects out of the truck grill.)


April 30, 2015: Effects of Reed Canary Grass and Herbicide Application


May 2013: 5-Year Review (52-page PDF; 450KB)


Sept./Oct. 2012 Cooperative Recovery in Chicago from Endangered Species Bulletin


Scientist unlocks secrets to the survival of the Hine’s emerald dragonfly at Mink River Preserve The Nature Conservancy in Wisconsin


2008 Safe Harbor Agreement for Voluntary Protection of Hine's Emerald Dragonfly Habitat Within Waterfall Forest Preserve, DuPage County, Illinois 19-page PDFAdobe PDF Icon; 3MB


2007 S6 Grant Project - Recovery Actions in Illinois and Wisconsin


2006 S6 Grant Project - Great Lakes Shoreline Project


2005 S6 Grant Project - Habitat Conservation Planning Assistance in Cook and Will counties, Illinois


Sept. 2001 Recovery Plan


Captive Rearing at Genoa Fish Hatchery


Dragonfly Eggs for Easter!

Genoa National Fish Hatchery received 100 Hine’s emerald dragonfly eggs from the University of South Dakota on Easter Day, April 1st, 2018. Collection efforts for 2017 in both Door County, Wisconsin and near Chicago, Illinois improved greatly over 2016, allowing the station to work with the eggs again and learn more about this early life stage. 

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Dragonflies to Arrive at Genoa Fish Hatchery in 2015

The Hine's emerald dragonfly was placed on the Federal Endangered Species list in 1995. The primary reason for the species' decline was loss of habitat due to urban development. The historic range for the dragonfly includes Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, Michigan and Wisconsin, but  the insect has already disappeared from Alabama, Ohio and Indiana. Habitat restoration efforts are underway in several locations and with culture methods being developed to breed more dragonflies, there is great hope for the species to become re-established in its historic ranges. 

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Programs Work Together and with Partners to Save an Endangered Dragonfly

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Chicago Ecological Services Office and the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge Complex-Genoa National Fish Hatchery are working together to develop a captive rearing program for the endangered Hine’s emerald dragonfly (Somatochlora hineana ).

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Groundwater Protection

Final Report Best Management Practices to Protect Groundwater at Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly Larval Sites in Door County, Wisconsin


Appendix A: Hine's Emerald Dragonfly Groundwater Contribution Areas with Karst Features and Closed Depression Capture Zones (12-page PDF)

Appendix B: Hine's Emerald Dragonfly Groundwater Contribution Areas among Watersheds and Subwatersheds (3-Page PDF)

Appendix C: Culvert Locations in Hine's Emerald Dragonfly Groundwater Contribution Areas (1-Page PDF)

Appendix D: Land Uses in Hine's Emerald Dragonfly Groundwater Contribution Areas (12-Page PDF)

Appendix E: Land Use and Community Information for Door County Hine's Emerald Dragonfly Groundwater Contribution Areas (23-Page PDF)

Appendix F: Groundwater Protection Zoning Model Ordinance for Door County Towns (4-Page PDF)

Appendix G: Brochure - Protecting Groundwater in Door County (2-Page PDF)


Brochure: Protecting Groundwater in Door County (2-Page PDF)


Brochure: Chicago-area Brochure


Brochure: Groundwater and the Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly in Door County - PDF Version


May 2008: Delineation of areas contributing groundwater to springs and wetlands supporting the Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly, Door County, WI - PDF Version


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Last updated: October 10, 2018