Warwickshire Dragonfly Atlas - Recording Information Page
Monitoring changes of dragonflies
populations over the years needs a standard recording procedure to
be followed. The recording protocol below has been developed by
the British Dragonfly Society (BDS) to meet monitoring
requirements. By following the protocol the value of your
contribution to the monitoring of national and regional
populations is maximised. There are basic requirements that must
be adhered to in order to satisfy the requirements. In addition
there are a number of extra requirements that increase the value
of what you do if you can fulfil them.
Even if you do not follow the protocol your records are still valuable and will help determine species distribution and breeding status but they will not be suitable for population monitoring.
Monitoring must be at water bodies:
pond, lake, river or canal. This is because dragonflies must
return to water to breed but can disperse widely when away from
breeding sites. Recording in sites away from water bodies, e.g.
woodland, is not suitable for population monitoring although
records from these areas are still useful in determining
The weather conditions are important when monitoring adult dragonflies to ensure there is a reasonable chance of them being active. Ideally there should be less than 60% cloud cover, little wind (no more than Force 3) and an air temperature of at least 15°C. Remember these are ideal conditions but it must be bright and warm.
Basic protocol requirements:
1. Record the date of your visit –
These are the three basic
requirements to ensure that your records are valuable for
The following extra requirements give added value:
4. Try to make repeated visits to the
location(s) you visit - up to at least three times a year through
the spring/summer period May to September. Monthly would be ideal
if practical. This is the most important extra requirement.
When monitoring it may be more practical to estimate the number
of each species present rather than counting to absolute numbers.
Estimate codes are A=1, B=2-5, C=6-20, D=21-100, E=101-500 &
Try to give information on activity and life cycle together with
numbers. That is: Adult (Ad), Copulating Pairs (Co), Ovipositing
(Ov), and, if you are confident of your identification, Larva (La)
Exuvia (Ex), Pre-flight Emergent (Em). Use the symbol 'y' to
indicate the activity/stage without a numbers estimate. This
information is very important in assessing the likelihood of
breeding of a species at a site.
A good example of how the data might be supplied where all the
above information is recorded is shown below. It is very important
that you clearly state if you have recorded all species seen.
If you prefer there is a paper Warwickshire Odonata Record Form
which you can fill in by hand and send to Peter Reeve. But
supplying records by email is much preferred. A PDF copy can be
down loaded and printed from here.
An example of a filled record form is shown below.
Peter Reeve, WDG co-ordinator,
Or email: peteratreeve60dotorgdotuk
The atlas of the distribution of
dragonflies and damselflies of Warwickshire is currently published
only on this website. The distribution maps for the species are
generated using the data supplied by recorders. In the future the
Atlas may be published in booklet form.
The Atlas is only as good as the
records it is based on. When records are received they are checked
and, if necessary, more information will be requested from the
recorder. Records are entered into a computer database especially
designed for recording dragonflies and based on the British
Dragonfly Society (BDS) Darter package. Once the data is in Darter
it enables the rapid and automated update of the distribution maps
and other information for the website as records are received.
At year end all the records for
Warwickshire gathered during the year are sent to the National
Dragonfly Recording Network co-ordinated by the British Dragonfly
Society (BDS). The BDS does additional checks on the data and
integrate the Warwickshire records with all the records received
from across the British Isles. The integrated data are sent on to
the National Biodiversity Network Gateway web site. (The web
address of this site is: http://data.nbn.org.uk/.) The
casual visitor to the NBN web site can interrogate databases for
different groups of organisms (not just dragonflies) and produce
10km square dot distribution maps for different species. More
privileged levels of access to the data are available on request.
The data are a valuable resource available to help in the conservation and study of dragonflies. The data will become even more valuable over future years as more records are acquired.So please make a point of recording what you see in the current year and send your records to Peter Reeve.
Banner artwork by Joan Sharrett