Critical species of Odonata in Europe


The status of the odonate fauna of Europe is fairly well known, but the current IUCN Red List presents only six species out of ca 130, two of which are actually out of danger today. In this paper we propose a tentative list of 22 possibly declining or threatened species in the region. For the majority, reliable data of population size and possible decline is still lacking. Also 17 endemic species are listed, most occurring in the two centres of endemism in the area: the south-eastern (mountains and islands) and the western Mediterranean. These species should receive extra attention in future updates of the world Red List due to their limited distribution. The extreme variation in biomes and the human exploitation of habitats make conservation planning complicated in Europe. Within the EU, the FFH directive is a working tool aiding conservation. However, the species included do not fully correspond to those on the current Red List, nor to those discussed in this paper. We believe that future conservation efforts should focus on the most valuable and threatened habitats in each sub-region. Active conservation measures could be implemented on a European scale, provided that research will establish a solid ground for such measures.

Issue section: Article