Project Description

Summary

Odonata (Dragonflies and damselflies) are graceful, colourful creatures used as flagships for conservation, and vital to the survival of life. Unfortunately, these species are currently threatened due to the ongoing destruction of their habitat caused by illegal mining, riparian deforestation, and negative public perception. Lack of data on species population, distribution, ecology and conservation status makes it difficult to make long-term conservation decisions on the species. This project will provide such baseline information and test the Dragonfly Biotic Index (DBI). We will produce colour guide of Odonata in Ghana, create community awareness and train citizen scientist for Odonata and freshwater conservation.

Odonata (Dragonflies and damselflies) are graceful, colourful creatures used as flagships for conservation, and vital to the survival of life. Unfortunately, these species are currently threatened due to the ongoing destruction of their habitat caused by illegal mining, riparian deforestation, and negative public perception. Lack of data on species population, distribution, ecology and conservation status makes it difficult to make long-term conservation decisions on the species. This project will provide such baseline information and test the Dragonfly Biotic Index (DBI). We will produce colour guide of Odonata in Ghana, create community awareness and train citizen scientist for Odonata and freshwater conservation.

Project description

African Freshwater Entomologist met recently to discuss priorities for odonata and freshwater conservation in Africa. The output of the 7 days workshop is summarized in the Midmar memorandum (MM). The MM identifies development of identification materials, ecological surveys and testing of methods in the field as the most significant priority actions for odonata and freshwater conservation in Africa. Likewise,The IUCN Action Plan for Dragonflies and Damselflies conservation makes ecological and taxonomic surveys, public awareness creation and capacity building an urgent priority (Moore 2007).

The forest of West Africa is biodiversity rich and recognized center of exceptional endemism. However, given unprecedented rates of deforestation and habitat loss, it is feared many species of odonates are likely to be exterminated totally before they have the chance to be discovered or described. Accordingly, Dijkstra and Clausnitzer, 2006 predicts about 50 species are still likely to be discovered in Ghana.  This makes the conservation of dragonflies and damselflies a very urgent matter. The objective is this project is develop a user friendly photo guide for citizen scientist and students. We will raise public awareness on odonata conservation and test the Dragonfly Biotoc Index (DBI) in Ghana.

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