Red list

Spearhead Bluet

This year a new Red List for the Dutch dragonfly species was published. Often this list is a sad list, with many species showing a population decline. However, this time the list isn’t that bad. Ok, there are still 19 species on the list, but that’s already less as the 22 five years ago. Also the category “extinct in the Netherlands” decreased from seven to five, and with the rediscovery of the Mercury Bluet and the Lilypad Whiteface in recent years there are only 3 species officially extinct. Due to the changing climate the temperature rises and more southern species move to the Netherlands. And with an increase in water quality other species recover. So not all is bad.

However, few species show a different trend, like this Spearhead Bluet. They show a decline of about 80% since 1999. Their habitat dries up or acidifies and they hardly disperse to new areas. Hopefully new measures to restore their habitat will have an effect.

There is still a small population near the place where I grew up. Their habitat, peat moors, is very vulnerable, but in this case there is a path right next to their habitat. Every now and then they come and rest on the path or on the trees next to the path. This allows me to take pictures without disturbing them. This male was resting in some grass allowing me to take some pictures. I hope I can enjoy this species for many more years.

Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.

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