Endangered dragonflies raised in a laboratory for many years released at a wood save in Illinois today.
The importance of dragonflies is in fact quite high since it is beneficial to us and the environment which makes it at least deserving of saving the species from the brink of extinction.
The Hine’s emerald dragonflies, which were believed to be extinct since a lot of years, were nurtured in captivity for the past four to five years after eggs were obtained from a dragonfly in southwestern Wisconsin.
Researchers said in a statement that three out of 20 dragonflies that were fit for release have already been freed this week at a forest preserve near Chicago.
“We are trying to maximize their survivorship in captivity”, said Daniel Soluk, leader of the research team from University of South Dakota, “all the way to where they’d be ready to emerge into adulthood”.
The species is called Hine’s emerald dragonfly and it has was presumed to be nearly extinct in Illinois. But that wasn’t the same when an adult specimen was found in 1988 and was later identified as Hine’s emerald dragonfly. It was in 1995 that the dragonfly was officially considered as endangered. However, it can still be found in Michigan, Wisconsin and Missouri apart from Illinois. The reason for using a dragonflies from Southwest Wisconsin is that researchers noticed that it had the same diverse genetic composition similar to the endangered dragonflies which have been found in Illinois.
Female Dragonflies lay their eggs by submerging the tip of their body into a shallow water.
Later, they crawl out of the water, shed their skin for the last time and emerge as flying adults. The adults only live for four to five weeks between June and August. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports that only 300 emerald dragonflies reach adulthood each year at a maximum. The reason for this preservation effort does not stop simply at the evolutionary role that these endangered dragonflies play in nature, they said. He thinks that the intrinsic beauty of this creature is what makes it worth saving and that its is our debt to our successors to do so.
The greatest threat to the Hine’s emerald dragonflies is the destruction of their habitat.
Hopefully their effort will not be in vain and this project will have the desired effect of boosting the numbers of this species. A number of federally endangered Hine¿s emerald dragonflies that were raised at a South Dakota laboratory over the past several years are being released at a forest preserve in Illinois in July 2015.