24 June 2014,
Comments Comments Off on White-faced darter dragonfly re-introduced to Cheshire
The White-faced darter was last recorded in Cheshire in 2003 but a recent re-introduction project by the Cheshire Wildlife Trust could mean it will re-establish itself in the county. The project has had a successful start with 100 larvae introduced to pools in Delamere Forest. This is only the second time a dragonfly re-introduction has been attempted.
The White-faced darter is one of the UK’s rarest dragonflies only found in Cumbria, Staffordshire, Shropshire, and Scotland. The larvae used in this re-introduction were collected from healthy populations in Shropshire and Staffordshire. The team from the Wildlife Trust watched for the first emergence to discover if their efforts were successful by counting the discarded dried larval cases. The project leader Dr Vicky Nall said the signs are good for a successful number of adults making their way into the air helped by the warm sunny start to spring.
The Forestry Commission manages the forest and have removed some of the trees that cast shadows over the re-introduction pools. The Wildlife Trusts long term hope is that the habitats in the forest may be adapted to allow the dragonflies to expand into additional areas. The species is threatened by habitat destruction and fragmentation, pollution and the impact of people visiting inhabited sites. Hopefully this re-introduction is a step in the right direction for the species.