IUCN warns of dragonflies in danger of death due to disappearance of wetlands

All over the world dragonflies are suffering from the disappearance of wetlands.

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2 min

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature publishes this Thursday, December 9, its third update of the Red List of threatened species for 2021. For the first time, the number of species appearing on the Red List exceeds 40,000: out of a total of 142,577 species observed, 40,084 are threatened with extinction.

In the first line, dragonflies who suffer from the disappearance of wetlands. 


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It is the first time that more than 6,000 species of dragonflies have been assessed for the Red List of


which is a global inventory of the conservation status of flora and fauna.

And the finding is alarming: 16% of dragonflies, or 675 species, are threatened.

This decline materializes the disappearance of wetlands, of which dragonflies are witnesses.

 Dragonflies are used by scientists as biological witnesses to the transformation of wetland habitats because they have larval life in the aquatic world and aerial life at the adult level.

These are organisms that bear witness to the life and biodiversity of wetlands, 

”explains Xavier Houard, of the Office for Insects and their Environment (Opie), who participated in the assessment for France.  

Industrial agriculture, which transforms forests into irrigated plantations using pesticides, as well as urbanization threaten dragonflies, especially by removing water points.

Between 1970 and 2015, it is estimated that 35% of wetlands in the world - lakes, rivers, marshes or even coastal or marine areas - have disappeared, according to a report by the Ramsar Convention on wetlands.

An indicator of the health of our water sources

Geert De Knijf, entomologist, co-responsible for the “ 

dragonfly red list

 ” in Belgium, underlines that by highlighting the loss of dragonflies in the world, we underline the urgent need to protect our water sources.

The threats to dragonflies are especially everywhere in the world the destruction and reduction of freshwater habitats, even in stagnant water, streams, rivers.

The decline of dragonflies tells us that we must be very careful with our water sources because without water we can no longer live on our planet.

Everyone needs water.


Preserving lakes, rivers, ponds and water in general is simply necessary for life. 


To listen:

International guest - Maud Lelièvre, President of the IUCN: "The protection of pollinating insects is an emergency"


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  • Environment

  • Threatened species