Free app will help track UK’s dragonflies

‘iRecord Dragonflies’, a new app to help monitor the UK’s dragonflies and damselflies, is launched today.iRecord Dragonflies app screenshot

The new app will help people to identify dragonflies and damselflies and record sightings to support study and conservation. The results will go to the Dragonfly Recording Network whose work has already shown the dramatic changes in distribution of many dragonfly species within the UK, and to the UK from the continent, due to our changing climate.

Colourful dragonflies and damselflies zooming about over water are among the quintessential sights on warm summer days. They can be very numerous in some habitats and play an essential ecological role as predators of flying insects, helping to control pests such as mosquitoes. They are also important indicators of water quality and wetland health.

Karolis Kazlauskis from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, who helped to create the app, said, "Many species have expanded their distributions in recent years and some have arrived from the Continent. The British Dragonfly Society maps and analyses distributions, identifies important sites and monitors population changes due to wetland condition and climate. This work would not be possible without the help of people reporting where they find dragonflies, and we hope the app will make this easier."

Genevieve Dalley from the British Dragonfly Society said, “Dragonfly recording is a really fun and satisfying thing to do. Dragonflies are stunning creatures with incredible behaviour which is there to be witnessed and enjoyed. With the new Dragonfly Recording App, it has never been easier to send us your records and contribute to the conservation of dragonflies. Anyone can join in, you don’t need to be an expert, as the App gives identification information on each of the dragonflies and damselflies you will see in the UK. Now is a great time to start using the App as there are still dragonflies on the wing well into autumn. So get out there and get recording!”

Migrant hawker photo: Ross Newham
Many species are still on the wing in late summer / early Autumn. Image of Migrant hawker by Ross Newham

Since its launch in 1999 thousands of people have already contributed to the Dragonfly Recording Network and, with assistance from the new app, the public will continue to support the study and conservation of dragonflies and damselflies.

"Anyone can join in, you don’t need to be an expert, as the App gives identification information on each of the dragonflies and damselflies you will see in the UK" Genevieve Dalley, British Dragonfly Society

Within the app each species has a distribution map and habitat information to give guidance on where they are most likely to be found. Additional information, including photos, is provided to assist identification.

The App is now available for both mobile (iOS, Android, Blackberry) and desktop users with any modern browser.

Deborah Procter, Joint Nature Conservation Committee said, “Mobile apps offer exciting possibilities for collecting high quality wildlife sightings. It is becoming ever easier for anyone to get involved in recording and help make an important contribution to tracking changes to our natural environment.”

The app was produced by a team from the Biological Records Centre at the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology and the British Dragonfly Society.

Watch our video below to learn more about the app and why your records are important:

Additional information

CEH issued a press release for this story. For more information, contact our Press Office.

Visit the app website

More citizen science apps from CEH

Staff page of Karolis Kazlauskis

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