The Canal & River Trust has warned that the wettest winter on record could have had a lasting impact on populations of dragonflies and damselflies in the East Midlands. The Trust is asking people to help monitor the insects as part of its annual Great Nature Watch, which launched yesterday (4 April).
Fluctuating river levels and fast currents are known to wash away dragonfly larva (or nymphs). As larva live underwater for up to three years, our unprecedented floods may have a long-term effect on dragonfly populations.
Richard Bennett, senior ecologist for the Canal & River Trust, explains: “Dragonflies, and their sister damselflies, flourish in clean water which is rich in bankside vegetation, such as reeds. This makes them a fantastic indicator of the health of a canal or river.