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IUCN Red List Status

These summary statistics and analyses are based on the European dragonflies dataset published in March 2010.

The status of dragonflies was assessed at two regional levels: geographical Europe, and the EU 27. At the European level 15% of the 137 assessed (sub)species of European dragonflies were considered threatened, of which 2% Critically Endangered, 4% Endangered and 9% Vulnerable. A further 11% of dragonflies are considered Near Threatened.A similar pattern was seen in the EU 27 with 16% threatened and a roughly similar breakdown between the three threatened categories.

By comparison, 23% of amphibians, 19% of reptiles, 15% of mammals, 13% of birds, 11% of saproxylic beetles and 9% of butterflies are threatened in Europe.

A further five dragonfly species were classed as Not Applicable, because they are of marginal occurrence in the European region.

Table 1: Summary of numbers of dragonfly species within each category of threat
  IUCN Red List categories No. (sub)species Europe
(no. endemic species)
No. species EU 27
(no. endemic species)
THREATENED
CATEGORIES
Critically Endangered (CR) 3(2) 3(1)
Endangered (EN) 5(3) 6(3)
Vulnerable (VU) 13(3) 13(2)
  Near Threatened (NT) 15(4) 18(2)
Least Concern (LC) 96(6) 91(6)
Data Deficient (DD) 5(0) 3(0)
Total number of species assessed * 137(18) 134(14)

*Excluding species that are considered Not Applicable

Red List status of dragonflies in Europe

Red List status of dragonflies in Europe
Red List status of dragonflies in Europe.
Click to enlarge
Red List status of dragonflies in the EU27
Red List status of dragonflies in the EU27.
Click to enlarge

Status by taxonomic group

A total of 11 families occur in the region; the largest ones being the Libellulidae (38 species) followed by the Coenagrionidae (30 species), the Aeshnidae (20 species) and the Gomphidae (13 species).

In most families between 0 and 14 percent of the taxa are threatened. Exceptions to this are the Coenagrionidae (20%), the Cordulegastridae (56%) and the single species of Macromiidae (100%). The high percentage of threatened Cordulegastridae is largely due to their habitat choice, small runnels and streams, and their restricted range. These habitats are prone to desiccation due to climate change, fires and increased water extraction.

Red List Status (European Regional level) of dragonflies by taxonomic family.

Suborder Family Total* CR EN VU NT LC DD % Threatened*
Damselflies Calopterygidae 4         4   0%
  Epallagidae 1       1     0%
Lestidae 9   1     8   11,1%
Coenagrionidae 30 2   4 4 18 2 20,0%
Platycnemididae 3         3   0%
Dragonflies Aeshnidae 19   1 1 2 15   10,5%
  Gomphidae 15   1 1 4 8 1 13,3%
Cordulegastridae 9 1 3 1 3 1   55.6%
Macromiidae 1     1       100%
Corduliidae 11     1 1 7 2 9,1%
Libellulidae 35     3   32   8,6%
  Total 137 3 6 12 15 96 5 15,3%