Like Canaries in a Coal Mine, Dragonflies Signal Threats to Freshwater Ecosystems

Research shows that some dragonfly and damselfly species may decline to near-extinction by 2100 as a result of climate change and human intervention in their habitats. Yet some freshwater ecosystems could see an increase in such species and more generally in biodiversity.

In gauging the growing threats to freshwater biodiversity, dragonflies and damselflies are viewed by ecologists as sentinels, reacting to threats by seeking out more stable homes. In a new study, researchers report that many of these aquatic insects are likely to begin relocating in coming decades as climate change makes their habitats warmer and drier.