Thursday, June 16, 2011

“Endangered” dragonfly discovered in Lake Metroparks - First in Lake County!

Racket-tailed emerald at Lake Metroparks River Road Property

Three racket-tailed emerald dragonflies were found at Lake Metroparks River Road property in Madison Township on Wednesday, June 15.   One was photographed and this will constitute a new Lake County record.  The racket-tailed emerald is an “Endangered" species in Ohio.  It has an interesting history in the state.  It was originally found in the Burton Wetlands in Geauga County and was last seen in 1924.  In 1999, a thriving population was found at Singer Lake Bog in Summit County.  A few years ago it was again found at Burton Wetlands. Last year, it was found in Ashtabula and Trumbull Counties and this year at Geauga Park District's Pinebrook Preserve.  

Many species of dragonflies are indicators of high quality wetland habitats and the racket-tailed emerald is a fine example of this.  All of the locations it has been found in Ohio are in some of the finest wetland complexes.  The racket-tailed emeralds that were found at River Road were found in a complex of wetlands created by Lake Metroparks in the 1990s.  These wetlands were designed to emulate beaver wetlands, a natural habitat in this region.  The wetlands at River Road are also home to two other state threatened damselflies: vernal bluet and boreal bluet.  This has been the only known Ohio location for boreal bluet for the last few years.  This is one of the reasons Lake Metroparks creates wetlands rather than gravel-lined well manicured ponds.

Click here more information about the Racket-tailed emerald
Source: Dragonflies and Damselflies of Ohio field guide (Ohio Department of Natural Resources)

Did you know?
Lake Metroparks has identified and manages a large number of naturally occurring wetlands on its holdings. Many of these wetlands are vernal pools, shallow wet areas in forests that contain water for all or part of the year. Lake Metroparks has identified 183 vernal pools within its boundaries.

For more information about wetlands within Lake Metroparks, click here.


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