Are dragonflies going extinct? Expert says unlikely

Experts say dragonfly numbers are down in 2022, but the insect is not on the verge of extinction. File Photo/ Global News

Will dragonflies be here in the future?

A local expert says that the suggestion is rather outlandish.

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Saskatchewan Polytechnic School of Natural Resources and Built Environment Research Chair David Halstead says the dragonfly has been around for over 300 million years and are not disappearing. However, their numbers have declined recently due to extreme heat and drought conditions in Saskatchewan.

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“We had drought conditions last year, causing the water (in temporary ponds) to dry up. That plays havoc on dragonflies that have a have a very short-term development time on those ponds,”

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Halstead says they are an indicator and insect of importance to the well-being of their immediate environment as well.

“Dragonflies are excellent macro-ecological indicators. We should be able to use them to monitor changes going on in the environment and climate,” said Halstead. “They are just a great organism, they survived the elimination of the dinosaurs. Climate change is not going to do it. They are still here.”

There are between 50 to 70 species of dragonflies in Saskatchewan.

He also adds one of their main food sources has been in abundance this year because of the drop in numbers.

“One of their main food sources is mosquitos, and there is certainly a surplus of them out this year compared to last,” said Halstead.


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