The British Dragonfly Society (BDS) website has moved to:
The society was founded in 1983 by a small group of dragonfly enthusiasts and scientists who volunteered in various projects concerning the different species of dragon flies. Their activities and more information about their various projects can be found on their new website.
The BDS has grown with time and today they their memberships has greatly increased. They usually focus on two main areas of interest which include conservation of dragonflies and recording of dragonflies. The latter helps them generate better ideas and formulate the best practices which can be used in conserving the habitats of the different species. Also the information recorded can be used to other enthusiasts, researchers and learners who are interested in dragonflies.
The presence of dragonflies in an environments is a good indication that the environment is healthy and by studying their behaviors, breeding patterns, population growth and other survivor metrics, a person can easily detect if there are any changes in the environment in cases where the population of these creatures decrease or has some variations.
The society also created awareness on the need to conserve dragonflies by offering education and training opportunities about the best practices needed in ensuring safe habitats for the different species. They usually produce a monthly magazine which has more information about various locations and habitats of dragon flies in UK and Europe at large and also organize various field trips and events where participants can get a chance to learn more about the different species of dragonfly.
I’m also an enthusiast of dragonflies, and I sought to bring this site back to life. I believe that we need to conserve the different species of dragon flies and thus I will be publishing content which pertain to dragonflies, the behavioral patterns, their habitats and any relevant information which pertains to them. Already there are some interesting posts that I have already published and they can be accessed by clicking through the various topics below.
It is Our Duty to Protect, Conserve and Support the all Ecosystems
Life has billions of years in evolution. One thing which has stood through the test of all those years is nature. Nature is beautiful and through all those years it has not only intrigued man with its beauty but has also made man realize the importance of taking care of it. Mother Nature has always been a source of inspiration to us; most of what supports us comes of the environments. This has always given us the obligation; a calling to ensure that we protect the resources that we have.
Needless to claim that humankind have been greatly responsible for the destruction of many facets of nature. In a way, we have contributed much to the negative state of the environment and the species in it. That’s why today we have various wild animals which are either extinct or endangered because of our reckless activities and greed such as poaching, disposal of harmful substances on the environment etc.
However, humans have also been responsible in the restoration, reclamation, conservation and protection of nature. We have many individuals and organizations that have for years fought to advocate for, and ensure that nature is not destroyed. Many like the late Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Wangari Maathai had to undergo many tribulations as she fought to ensure that we protected the place that man has lived and sourced for livelihood for centuries.
Today, government and many institutions are trying all they can to ensure that the environment is protected at all cost, even if it means meting heavy penalties for offenders. Simply put, mankind has realized that if we do not protect nature, then that beckons the fall of our dynasties. We have tried, we are trying and we will always have to strive to improve the environment and protect the species that dwell in there.
That is the main reason that many institutions, societies, Non-governmental Organizations, Membership Clubs etc have emerged and formulated various strategies to help protect and conserve various species and areas of interest in the environment.
Dragonflies are among the list of popular species conserved and protected in UK for the beauty and glamour. They too have an ecological importance in the environment. These species need to be conserved and protected form possible extinction because currently they are endangered. As a matter of facts, they are listed in the ICUN Red List of Threatened Species. It is very possible for humans and the society to conserve these species. There are a lot of resources online which can help up in such endeavors. For instance, the Scottish Natural Heritage in collaboration with the British Dragonfly Society have published a very resourceful guide to help people get started in these conservation efforts. The British Dragon Society have taken an extra step in providing recording and other statistical data which could be very helpful to any wannabe dragonfly enthusiast.
Still there are plenty of other organizations and individuals in UK and also in other countries. Bill Jones has a great website Dragon-Days which has played a pivotal role in the conservation of the remaining habitats of dragonflies in South Wales.
Americans too are in the forefront in ensuring sustainable conservation of these species and their habitats. There are awesome dragonflies and in Northern Virginia & Arizona and enthusiasts there are not behind in preserving this heritage.
There are plenty of other resources where you can obtain good information about conserving the heritage of the species.
Falling in Love with Nature
I became interested in nature back in 2009 after surviving breast cancer. I was in my late 40s and hadn’t planned on retiring soon, when an abnormality was detected after going for my routine mammogram. The radiologist who was performing the mammogram became concerned about the abnormality and she recommended that I undergo a clinical biopsy.
A core-needle biopsy was conducted a week later and I was shocked to learn that I had breast cancer Stage II. I underwent several other lab tests to determine the estrogen receptors and after the tests, I was advised on the various treatment options which were best for me. Of course I was shocked to learn that I had cancer. Therefore, processing all the information about treatment options, proper dieting and the radiation therapies was too much for me. I didn’t know what was best for me.
I was much stressed up at that time and before deciding anything, I figured out that the best thing was to seek an early retirement. I knew that it would be hard for me to work normally. I then took time to research on the best options available for me. I went to see an oncologist for more advice and also sought to learn more in various published materials on the internet.
The idea that I could succumb to cancer, or the thoughts that the cancer would recur back after treatment, made me decide on a lumpectomy. I had the surgery performed a few weeks after the diagnosis. Afterwards, I was subjected to a series of chemotherapy and radiation therapy which took several months. These radiation periods were my worst nightmare. They always made me feel weak and thus I was even more stressed. During this treatment period which lasted close to a year, I lost so much weight and I had to depend on special dieting to survive. I needed the opposite of weight loss motivation.
Supporting Various Environmental Conservation Efforts
It wasn’t easy for me. Luckily, through the help of a church leader, I was introduced to a local cancer group where I met other women who were either battling cancer or were cancer survivors. They inspired me a lot and helped me to cling on hope. They were usually involved in various activities as they sought to encourage each other and especially give support to those battling cancer. It was during these activities that I fell in love with nature. One such activity included a trip that we made to Essex to watch dragonflies and damselflies. It was an amazing moment and it helped me develop an interest in the various species of dragonflies.
About a year of treatment, I underwent a checkup which revealed that I had healed. No cancerous cells were present in my body. This was the loveliest moment in my life and helped change my destiny. I was much grateful to the cancer community, the church and most importantly my family for being by my side during those trying times. I also felt that I owed the world a lot.
As I was thinking of a way of giving back to the community, the idea of supporting an organization whose initiatives was to promote environmental sustainability came up. I decided that I would first start by supporting a local organization which was taking part in the conservation of the natural habitats of dragonflies. I joined the local group where I usually volunteer in their various conservation efforts. This made to embrace and love nature more and also helped me develop more interest in dragonflies.
More Resources About Odonata
Dragonflies and Damselfies are taxonomically categorized in the class of Odonata since they are both carnivorous insects.
Below are various sites that I’ve gathered which have more resources about these species from various sites and organizations.
- World Dragonfly Association
- Societas Internationalis Odonatologica (SIO)
- The International Odonata Research Institute (IORI)
- International Commission for Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN)
- International Dragonfly Fund (IDF)
- National Biodiversity Network Gateway – This website has an extensive collection of UK biological datasets, including those from the Dragonfly Recording Network (DRN). Information on species, habitats and sites is available. Some datasets are only available to registered users.
- National Insect Week
- Banded Demoiselle Survey website – see the notice on the Diary page.
- Natural England – a site dedicated to Protected Sites & Protected Species.
- Biological Records Centre – a site dedicated to Biological Recording Schemes including Dragonflies and Damselflies.
- ARKive – An “Electronic Noah’s Ark”, an online collection of images and information about plants and animals (including a few dragonflies) throughout the world. Built and maintained by The Wildscreen Trust.
- The Natural History Museum – Nature Navigator – A new guide from the Natural History Museum, illustrated with artworks from the Museum’s collections.
- Africa Dragonfly – Africa-Dragonfly is dedicated to Odonata found in Africa. The site offers access to a database of photos taken around African countries in the Oriental Region and links to other sources of information on Oriental Odonata.
- Asia Dragonfly – Asia-Dragonfly is dedicated to Odonata found in the Oriental region. The site offers access to a database of photos taken around Asian countries in the Oriental Region and links to other sources of information on Oriental Odonata.
- OdonataCentral & The Dragonfly Society of the Americas (DSA) – OdonataCentral hosts the site of the DSA and also contains comprehensive checklists of species together with ditribution maps and photos for USA, Canada and Mexico species. Highly recommended for anyone visiting the North America, and South-Central USA in particular. Recently (october 2007) completely overhauled including the facility for adding records from anywhere in the world and a new distribution map viewer.
- Finnish Dragonfly Society – The site is in Finnish so here is a direct link to the species list in English
- Libellules – Christian Kerihuel’s site about Odonata of France
- Oxygastra – Grup d’estudi dels odonats de Catalunya – Excellent site with many good photographs of species from Catalonia and elsewhere in Europe
- Nederlandse Vereniging voor Libellenstudie (NVL) – the Dutch dragonfly society
- Gesellschaft deutschsprachiger Odonatologen (GDO)
- Preliminary checklist and atlas of Armenian dragonflies
- Odonata living in the area between Holland, Germany and Austria.
- Swedish Dragonflies.
- Dragonflies and damselflies living in Andalusia – in Spanish
Related Sites with More Info
- Cheshire Dragonflies & Damselflies
- Dragonflies of the Hampshire and Surrey Borders
- Hertfordshire Wildlife Trust
- Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust
- A website covering the dragonflies of Norfolk
- Dragonflies and Damselflies in the UK – particularly in North Buckinghamshire
- Bedfordshire Odonata
- Dragonflies and Damselflies of Wimbledon and Putney Common.
- DragonflyIreland project
- Stover Country Park, Devon
- Northamptonshire Dragonflies
- Leicestershire & Rutland Dragonfly Group
- Staffordshire Ecological Record – A Survey of the Dragonflies of Lichfield
- Yorkshire branch of the British Dragonfly Society
- Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory – has pages covering all latest sightings (including for dragonflies under latest sightings, insects).
- The Dragonflies of Montgomeryshire
- Wildlife UK Forum – Discuss the UK countryside and wildlife.
- Odonata in Japan
- Dragonflies and Damselfies
- Seattle Community Network resources
General Odonatological Interest
- Ode News – This site is mainly concerned with the dragonflies of Cape Cod but it has an outstanding collection of links to other Odonata sites and to photographic resources
- Dragonflypix – The creators of this site have produced several hundreds of very good photographs (most taken in Italy) which are available for purchase as high-quality prints. The photos can be viewed online freely and include many UK species.
- Les Richesses des Milieux Aquatiques – French web site with photos of many European species of dragonfly along with other water-dwelling animals.
- British Wildlife Publishing – Publisher of “Field Guide to Dragonflies and Damselflies of GB and Ireland”. BDS members can get a discount of £1 for subscriptions to British Wildlife magazine.
There are also various books about these insects which have been published. You can find some of the Natural History Books Service or from the WILDGuides website. Soon I’ll update the list of dragonfly books available for sale.