Bringing Back the Hine's Emerald Dragonfly

By Tom Velat,
Resource Management & Development

It’s always great to receive news that conservation partnerships are continuing to thrive at the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, especially in our centennial year! The Chicago Field Office of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has received funding to help the federally endangered Hine’s emerald dragonfly population in northeastern Illinois. The Captive Rearing Project will be funded through the Cooperative Recovery Initiative, which is a National Wildlife Refuge funding program. Other partners include Genoa National Fish Hatchery, University of South Dakota, Brookfield Zoo and the Forest Preserve Districts of Cook and Will counties.

Although the District is not the direct recipient of these dollars, we will be working closely with the Chicago Field Office and other partners to implement some of the project goals. One of the most important benefits to the District is that the dragonflies produced from this effort will go towards supplementing the dwindling Illinois Hine’s emerald dragonfly population. Some of the first locations where dragonflies are going to be released include the DuPage forest preserves.

The District thanks its employees who have helped to support the effort:

  • Natural Resources for controlling invasive plant species, native seeding and prescribed burning in the habitat where these insects live;
  • Finance & Administration for managing invoices and billing to the University of South Dakota;
  • Structural Maintenance for locating utilities and performing maintenance on buildings used for this project;
  • Planning & Development for helping to conduct topographic surveys of erosion issues near the habitat;
  • Communications & Marketing for helping to get the word out about the species and project;
  • Grounds Maintenance for removing fences and invasive brush;
  • Land Acquisition and Board of Commissioners for purchasing properties of ecological value to the species;
  • Law Enforcement for helping to protect the people and places where scientific research is conducted on District lands
  • And Community Services & Education's rangers for helping to maintain safe conditions at the buildings where the project occurs and conducting prescribed burns. 

Everyone’s dedication to these tasks illustrates that with our partners, we are a great contributor to the recovery of this species in our region. It is truly a group effort!

Read more about the comeback of the Hine's emerald dragonfly:

Field Notes: Dragonflies to Arrive at Genoa National Fish Hatchery in 2015 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Constable: Rare Dragonfly Call the Suburbs Home 


Hine's emerald dragonfly

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