Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Arthropoda Insecta Odonata Cordulegastridae

Scientific Name: Cordulegaster heros
Species Authority: Theischinger, 1979
Common Name(s):
English Balkan Goldenring
French Cordulegastre des Balkans
Taxonomic Notes: The two subspecies described, C. h. heros Theischinger, 1979 and C. heros pelionensis Theischinger,1979 differ only by the shape or the lack of the black band on the frons and will not be assessed separately.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-04-21
Assessor(s): Boudot, J.-P.
Reviewer(s): De Knijf, G., Ferreira, S. & Riservato, E.
European regional assessment: Near Threatened (NT) - approaching B2b(ii,iv)
EU 27 regional assessment: Near Threatened (NT) - approaching B2b(ii,iv)

The distribution of the endemic C. heros is restricted from central to southeastern Europe. A better knowledge of its distribution in for instance Romania is urgently needed. It is locally common but apparently scattered because of its specific habitat (shaded brooks, streams and medium-sized rivers with gritty bottom). This species is threatened mainly by habitat loss, dessication of rivers increased by climate change, which results in streams drying up as a consequence of rainfall deficit and increase of water extraction and spring capture for irrigation purpose. Forest destruction through logging and forest fires also contribute to stream dessication. At the European scale, the species is assessed Near Threatened because of its scattered distribution and specialization and its likely reduction in the near future.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2009 Least Concern (LC)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Cordulegaster heros is a central and southeastern European endemic taxon ranging from Austria and Slovakia to a large part of the Balkans. The species was only described in 1979 and only in the last two decades its distribution started to become clear (Adamović et al. 1992, Bedjanic and Salamun 2003, Blaskovic et al. 2003, Bulankova and David 2003, Kotarac 1997, Uboni et al. 2007, Janský and David 2008). Its eastern limit in Romania is unknown and it might even go as far east as the Ukraine. It is locally common but scattered because of its specific habitat, mostly shaded rivulets in mountainous areas. In the south of its range, this species is currently decreasing due to climate change, rainfall deficit, spring capture and desiccation of streams.
Countries occurrence:
Albania; Austria; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Croatia; Greece (Greece (mainland)); Hungary; Italy (Italy (mainland)); Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Montenegro; Romania; Serbia (Serbia); Slovakia; Slovenia
Lower elevation limit (metres): 50
Upper elevation limit (metres): 1500
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The species is not uncommon within its range and occurs in small to rather large-sized populations.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: C. heros is found at shaded streams in mountains and hills, with sandy and rocky beds (Lang et al. 2001).
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Increased drought periods and drying up of habitats as a result of climate change is already a present threat in parts of the southern Balkans, including Romania, so that some previously known localities are now extinct. Some localities have been destroyed due to water capture directly at springs. Wood-logging, forest fire and forest destruction are other threats contributing to stream dessication.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: C. heros is listed in the Annexes II and IV of the European Habitats Directive; that implies that their habitat should not be altered. This is clearly not respected in some countries, i.e. in Greece where wild spring capture and water extraction regularly increase for irrigation purpose to compensate rainfall deficit.

Citation: Boudot, J.-P. 2010. Cordulegaster heros. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T158700A5263990. . Downloaded on 14 October 2015.
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