Critical species of Odonata in Japan


Japan is a small country but ranges from the subtropical to the subarctic zone. Every year during spring to autumn, many typhoons bring tropical taxa, which occasionally establish in Japan. Up to now, 215 odonate taxa have been recorded, 34 of which are regarded as critical species. Intensive research on Odonata – supported by identification guides -has been carried out mainly after 1945. The current IUCN Red List does not sufficiently reflect present knowledge of the threat status of Odonata in Japan. Therefore changes for an updated global Red List are suggested and explained. The most critical sites are situated in suburban areas and in the isolated islands; the latter host many endemics. Conservation priorities and recommendations are stated and the importance of publicity is stressed. The Division of Nature Conservation of the Japanese Society for Odonatology is currently very active, and it is expected that the activity of all 15 committees will even increase in the future. The so-called “Dragonfly Citizen Summit” has been carried out every year since 1990. With this festival the number of dragonfly lovers has increased remarkably, and the knowledge and consent on conservation of Odonata and their habitats have made a good progress.

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