The aquatic insect order Odonata includes the dragonflies and damselflies - remarkable insects strongly tied to the wetlands and waterways in which they breed and develop. Their aquatic niches and habitat requirements in northern Illinois are under constant threat from human development which alters the hydrology of the systems upon which they rely. This webinar will provide an overview of their complex life cycle and natural history, consider the specific needs of, and stressors on, local species, evaluate critical areas for conservation within Chicagoland, and offer suggestions for how citizen scientists, private landowners and public agencies can become involved in the monitoring and conservation of these essential creatures.
SPEAKER: Marla Garrison is an instructor of biology at McHenry County College. She is the author of Damselflies of Chicagoland published online by the Chicago Field Museum of Natural History (https://fieldguides.fieldmuseum.org/guides/guide/388). She sat on the Executive Council of the Dragonfly Society of the Americas for many years. She has worked with the US Fish & Wildlife Service on the federally endangered Hine's Emerald Dragonfly project and conducts dragonfly research and surveys throughout the state of Illinois and around the country. She is currently completing her second field guide entitled Dragonfly Nymphs of Northern Illinois.