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Dragonfly of 2023: 'a loser from climate change'

Dragonfly of 2023: ‘a loser from climate change’

Status: 12/15/2022 6:02 PM

She likes it cooler, lives in the mountains and needs water for her offspring: the Alpine emerald dragonfly. Global warming is bothering them and may lead to the extinction of this species. That is why it will receive special attention in 2023.

The endangered Alpine dragonfly is the “Dragonfly of 2023”. The German Union for the Environment and Nature Conservation (BUND) said the species is one of the “losers from climate change”. Therefore, it is not easy to identify the type of dragonfly and it is not often noticed due to its rarity and inaccessibility to its habitat. It has a distribution area that extends from Norway through Siberia to northern Japan.

In Germany, this only occurs in locations above 750 meters above sea level in the Harz, Thuringian Forest, Ore Mountains, Wechtlgebirge, Bavarian Forest, Black Forest as well as in the Bavarian Alps. Dragonflies are considered “cold-loving”.

Habitats endangered due to climate change

Alpine emerald dragonfly (Somatochlora alpestris) lives in low mountain ranges almost exclusively in medium and highland bogs, at higher alpine altitudes also in larger water bodies such as ponds and small lakes. Animals are having a hard time with global warming because, among other things, the caterpillars’ habitats are drying up.

Because it is already so rare, conservationists say, there is a very good chance the species will become extinct. So the habitat must be intensively protected. However, ongoing climate change makes it difficult, for example, for measures that work so well to improve and revitalize swamps.

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The prize is awarded by the BUND and the Association of German-speaking Audiologists (Dragonfly Researchers). In 2022, the focus is on the girl with the smallest pitch.