NH Dragonfly Survey

NH Dragonfly Survey

Statewide Survey of Dragonflies is Complete!

Are you interested in dragonflies and damselflies?

Do you know where to look to find them?

Would you like to learn how to identify both common and rare dragonflies and damselflies? 

Scientists in New Hampshire are working on a project to increase our understanding of the conservation issues affecting these fascinating insects, and you can help! 

The NH Dragonfly Survey started in 2007 as a partnership of NH Audubon, NH Fish and Game, and UNH Cooperative Extension. Its goal is to gain a better understanding of the distribution of dragonfly species of conservation concern in New Hampshire. In the first four years of the project, over 200 people attended workshops intended to train volunteers in dragonfly biology and data collection methods. Many of these volunteers have gone on to collect data from all corners of the state, with more than 5000 records submitted by the end of 2009. In the process, volunteers have found three new species for the state, added dozens of new county records (the first record of a species for a county), and discovered new locations for several species of conservation concern. And they’ve had a great time doing it.

2011 will be the last year of this project, and rather than training new volunteers the focus will be on offering refresher courses to existing volunteers and getting these people into under surveyed parts of the state. Why end the project? If we kept going indefinitely, we wouldn’t be able to establish a clear reference point against which future changes in dragonfly populations could be measured. Most projects of this sort use a five year time frame, which is generally long enough to ensure adequate survey coverage and short enough that things don’t change too much from start to finish. When the survey is complete, the NH Dragonfly Survey will produce a report summarizing the distributions and status of all the species known to occur in the state.

For more information on the NH Dragonfly Survey, contact Pam Hunt at NH Audubon, (603) 224-9909 or phunt@nhaudubon.org. Although training workshops will not be offered in 2011, there may be opportunities to participate by helping other volunteers. People already experienced in insect collection and identification may be able to collect data with minimal training, and are encouraged to read the "Manual for Volunteers" available at the link below.

Emily Ulrich - clubtail
Dragonfly Survey volunteers come in all sizes!
Won't you join us, too?

Checklist of Dragonflies and Damselflies of NH

Dragonhunter (Newsletter of the N.H. Dragonfly Survey, named for one of the largest dragonflies) - click to download an issue:

NHDS Volunteers:  Download forms and manuals here

Fun in the field...

elfin skimmer
The lovely elfin skimmer - one of the many dragonflies you may see in the wilds of NH!
Souhegan dragonhunters
A group of Dragonfly Survey volunteers learns how to hunt dragons on the Souhegan.
cobra emerging
A cobra clubtail emerges from its larval skin (exuvia). Volunteers can collect these for identification.
common whitetail
Common whitetails can be seen along forest trails as well as near ponds.
  Kamal - skimmer
Dragonfly Survey volunteer Kamal Nath admires a skimmer he found in Effingham.
NHDS - town totals for 2007

About Us
NH Fish and Game Dept.
11 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03301

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