HOW CAN I HELP...

The Bri­tish Dragon­fly So­ci­ety

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Q&A -

What does the BDS do?

We un­der­take and sup­port re­search on drag­on­flies, aim­ing to con­serve th­ese in­sects and en­gage the pub­lic.

How do vol­un­teers get in­volved?

They can con­trib­ute to lo­cal record­ing events, cit­i­zen science projects such as our Club­tail Count, out­reach work or writ­ing. We also run work par­ties on sites des­ig­nated as dragon­fly hotspots. Th­ese are usu­ally muddy and wet, but fun.

How does the record­ing work?

Our record­ing scheme, Dragon­fly­Watch, is a ‘lad­der’ through which vol­un­teers can de­velop their skills, start­ing with ad hoc sight­ings and lead­ing up to, for ex­am­ple, ex­u­vial sur­veys at pri­or­ity sites. All data is vi­tal, as dis­tri­bu­tions are changing at an un­prece­dented rate. Data will also be used in the State of Drag­on­flies 2020.

What’s an ex­am­ple of a project that has helped drag­on­flies?

We’ve been work­ing on the Glen Af­fric Peat­land Restora­tion Project for the past few years. The site is home to rare species such as the white-faced darter and north­ern emer­ald. Pre­vi­ous man­age­ment prac­tices caused dam­age here, which we and oth­ers are now work­ing to rec­tify with vi­tal sup­port from vol­un­teers.

When are you busiest?

Spring and sum­mer, when we are pre­par­ing for the new sea­son. In win­ter we col­late and an­a­lyse records, plan fu­ture projects and de­velop ed­u­ca­tional ma­te­rial. We also run win­ter sur­veys look­ing for lar­vae, and or­gan­ise work par­ties to re­store wet­land habi­tats.

Seek­ing dragons...

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