Friday, May 25, 2012

Dragonfly Society of the Americas - SC Meeting

Yellow-sided Skimmer (Female)

I attended the Dragonfly Society of the Americas meeting in Cheraw, SC May 4-6, 2012.  Chris Hill of the Biology Department at Coastal Carolina University planned this excellent event.  Many international dragonfly experts attended.

There were field trips over about a week beginning in coastal SC areas, then around Cheraw and finally at the Chatooga River. Over 102 species were seen over the course of the week.  I especially enjoyed the field trip to the Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge.  When I had visited before, I had not focused on the many pools in the refuge.  As we spent time near those pools we noticed many species like:  elfin skimmer, yellow-sided skimmer, calico pennant, lilypad forktails, etc.  It was amazing how many different species you could see in just 100 yards right beside the roadway.

Elfin Skimmer (Male)

There was also a day for a business meeting and scientific presentations.  One of the presentations most pertinent to Master Naturalists was Celeste Mazzacano speaking on the Migratory Dragonfly Partnership.  The partnership is focused on using research, citizen science, education and outreach to understand North American dragonfly migration and promote conservation.  Initially, the partnership will focus on tracking the movements of five of the best known migratory species in North America:  the Common Green Darner, Variegated Meadowhawk, Wandering Glider, Spot-winged Glider and Black Saddlebags.  The Partnership will have short courses online later this year.  One of the upcoming citizen science projects is the Dragonfly Pond Watch -- where you can submit observations from your local areas over time.  To learn more about the partnership and other citizen science projects that are a part of it, go to migratorydragonflypartnership.org.

Lilypad Forktail (Immature Female)

Also, as a part of the meeting I learned about Odonata Central, an online tool where you can document species you find with location information.  You must upload photographic evidence of species seen.  An expert reviews the postings and certifies your records.  I learned that South Carolina has many counties with very few records of odonates.  This would be an easy citizen science project for our annual hours -- to try to improve the records for counties in SC.  Some of the counties with fewer than 20 records are:  Newberry, Saluda, Fairfield, Calhoun, Clarendon and Williamsburg.  Click here to register for Odonata Central:  http://odonatacentral.org/

Calico Pennant (Male)

I highly recommend the organization:  Dragonfly Society of the Americas.  Membership is inexpensive and the resources are excellent.  All of the members were accessible and eager to share what they know about odonates.  The next annual meeting will be in Saskatchewan, Canada July 12-14, 2013, however, there are regional meetings planned each year as well.  Here is a link with information about how to join:  http://odonatacentral.org/index.php/PageAction.get/name/DSAHomePage

1 comment:

kcarlbot said...

Celeste Mazzacano was heavily involved in the organization and expansion of ANROSP (Alliance for Natural Resource Outreach and Service Programs), the umbrella organization for Master Naturalist programs nationwide. Though all programs are organized differently, this group serves as the primary source for getting new programs off the ground and by providing conferences for programs to share knowledge and experience.