For Immediate Release, April 28, 2010
Contact: John Buse, Center for Biological Diversity, (323) 533-4416
Habitat Doubled for Rare Dragonfly
CHICAGO— After two lawsuits by the Center for Biological Diversity and allies, last Friday the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service doubled the size of federally protected critical habitat for the endangered Hine’s emerald dragonfly, upping the acreage from just 13,221 acres to 26,532.
“Thanks to the designation, Hine’s emerald dragonflies now have a chance to recover from the brink of extinction. Protecting habitat is the best way to bring back these spectacular insect predators,” said John Buse, a senior attorney with the Center.
The Hine’s emerald dragonfly, renowned for its aerobatic virtuosity and electrifying green eyes, is the only dragonfly on the U.S. endangered species list. Once found in fens, bogs, and other wetlands throughout the Midwest, the species remains in only a few scattered breeding sites in Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, and Missouri. The Hine’s emerald is primarily threatened by habitat destruction due to urban and agricultural development, off-road vehicles, road and pipeline construction, logging, and groundwater contamination from pesticides and other pollutants.
The new habitat designation responds to a 2008 lawsuit filed by the Center, Natural Resources Defense Council, Northwoods Wilderness Recovery, Michigan Nature Association, Door County Environmental Council, and the Habitat Education Center, which was prompted by the Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2007 decision to slash the Hine’s emerald dragonfly’s protected habitat.
The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 255,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.