CONSERVATION ASSESSMENT OF ODONATA IN ILLINOIS
Conservation of freshwater organisms requires fundamental species distribution information across space and time for status assessments, management actions, and setting priorities. Historically, knowledge gaps have prevented adequate protection for aquatic insects in state wildlife action plans and other direct conservation efforts. Currently, measures such as broad-scale species status assessment, identification of biogeographic patterns, and designation of critical habitat are greatly needed in light of land-use and global climate change. Odonates (dragonflies and damselflies) inhabit a variety of freshwater habitats and thus are sentinel organisms for habitat quality assessment, tracking environmental change, and restoration efficacy. Furthermore, odonate biology and life history have been integrated into ecological studies, and their bipartite life-cycle underscores their role in terrestrial-aquatic linkages. We present an analysis of collections records across the state of Illinois to assess underrepresented species and geography. A framework to address knowledge gaps, via identifying focal taxa and targeted sampling, in the Odonata will be useful for state and regional wildlife management programs.
Erika Bilger (Primary Presenter/Author), Illinois Natural History Survey, firstname.lastname@example.org;
John Crawford (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), National Great Rivers Research and Education Center, email@example.com;
Brittany Ousterhout (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), National Great Rivers Research and Education Center, firstname.lastname@example.org;