Biases of Odonata in Habitats Directive: Trends, trend drivers, and conservation status of European threatened Odonata

Tang DHY & Visconti P (2020). Biases of Odonata in Habitats Directive: Trends, trend drivers, and conservation status of European threatened Odonata. Insect Conservation and Diversity DOI:10.1111/icad.12450. (In Press)

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Abstract

Dragonflies and damselflies, within the order of Odonata, are important ecological indicators with widely recognised conservation value. They are generally better researched and protected than other invertebrates, yet, they have received limited protection from the European Union (EU)'s Habitats Directive, which serves as the major legislative tool for species conservation in Europe. We reviewed the conservation status and trends, legal protection status, and knowledge gaps of Odonates within the EU. Among the 22 threatened and 27 endemic species in EU, respectively 19 and 11 of them are not protected by the Directive. Out of the 35 species which are threatened and/or listed on the Annexes, 61.5% of them are declining. Nevertheless, threatened non-Annex species are more likely to have a decreasing population trend than Annex species. There are also 26% of threatened non-Annex species with unknown trends. Inaccuracies in evaluating Odonata trends are also revealed due to the lack of standardised methodology and incomplete surveys. Moreover, most conservation research focuses on climate change's effects on range shift, therefore knowledge gaps exist in understating how water and habitat qualities, the most important Odonate trend drivers, shape Odonata conservation status. There is an urgent need to revise the legal protection status of Odonata in Europe, for instance by revising the EU Habitats Directive Annexes to include threatened damselflies and dragonflies. There is also an urgent need for systematic, standardised, and regular survey to be able to investigate trends and drivers of change to identify priority conservation actions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Conservation priority; damselflies; dragonflies; endangered species; environmental policy; European Union; Habitats Directive; Odonata; Red List
Research Programs: Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2020 08:08
Last Modified: 24 Sep 2020 08:08
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/16738

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