Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Rare dragonflies reintroduced into Cheshire

White-faced darter dragonfly back in Cheshire's Delamere Forest

June 2013. One of the first stages of an ambitious five-year plan to reintroduce one of the UK's rarest dragonflies back into the region - after a decade of absence - has been successfully completed.

The white-faced darter dragonfly was last seen in the wild in Cheshire over the pools of Delamere Forest in 2003. The Cheshire Wildlife Trust project team has now announced that in recent days they have seen adult white-faced darters flying, and recorded evidence of a number of other individuals emerging from the water in a specially selected pool where they were translocated earlier in the summer.

Improved habitat
The return of the dragonflies comes after several years of dedicated work to reinstate and improve lost habitats in partnership with the Forestry Commission, Cheshire West & Chester Council and a meticulous translocation process and carefully planned reintroduction. Such a scheme has only been attempted twice before in the UK, again with white-faced darters in Cumbria and with the southern damselfly in Devon.

It's hoped the combined approach of creating suitable areas for the dragonflies to survive in pools within the forest, coupled with annual translocations and careful monitoring will see a self-sustaining population of white-faced darters back in the region within ten years.

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