These summary statistics and analyses are based on the European dragonflies dataset published in March 2010.
Twenty-one (15%) of the 137 assessed (sub)species of European dragonflies are threatened in Europe, with 2% being Critically Endangered, 4% Endangered and 9% Vulnerable. An additional 15 species are considered Near Threatened. A similar pattern is seen in the EU 27 with 16% of the species threatened. About a quarter of the European dragonflies have declining populations, about one tenth are increasing and roughly half of the species are stable. For the remaining twelve percent, the available information is too limited to define any population trends.
Dragonflies occur almost everywhere in Europe, but the highest species diversity is found in the southern half, with the highest numbers in parts of southern France, the footland of the Alps and parts of the Balkan Peninsula. Eighteen of the European species are endemic to Europe (i.e. they are not found anywhere else in the world). Sixteen of the 18 endemics are either confined to islands, to the Balkan Peninsula or (at least mainly) to the Iberian Peninsula and France.
Most of the threatened species are confined to parts of southern Europe and especially the southern Balkan Peninsula, Crete and the Iberian Peninsula show high percentage of threatened species. Currently, the main threat to European dragonflies is desiccation of their habitats due to the increasingly hot and dry summers combined with intensified water extraction for drinking and irrigation. Other important threats to species living in running waters are water pollution and the construction of dams and reservoirs.