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Coenagrion mercuriale

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA ARTHROPODA INSECTA ODONATA COENAGRIONIDAE

Scientific Name: Coenagrion mercuriale
Species Authority: (Charpentier, 1840)
Common Name/s:
English Southern Damselfly
French Agrion de Mercure
Synonym/s:
Coenagrion mercuriale castellanii Roberts, 1948
Taxonomic Notes: Subpopulations in Italy are sometimes regarded as a distinct subspecies, Coenagrion mercuriale castellanii, but the so-called differences between the two taxa are not significant.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2006
Date Assessed: 2006-01-31
Assessor/s: Boudot, J.-P.
Reviewer/s: Clausnitzer, V. & Suhling, F. (Odonata Red List Authority)
Justification:
This is mainly an Atlanto-Mediterranean species, which decreases in density and frequency in other climatic areas. Its main distribution centre ranges from France to North Africa. Flourishing populations still occur within these countries but their survival is definitely incompatible with modern intensive agricultural practices and forest closure. Most populations at the periphery of the main range area have been destroyed and a continuous decline has been observed in France and Spain where agriculture is shifting from grasslands to irrigated ploughed fields, the worst situation being reached with maize cultivation (a crop that is irrigated throughout the summer months). A similar important decrease has been observed within a 10 year span in the Rhine forest, due to lack of clearing and light insufficiency near phreatic rivers. In Italy, only four modern records were published after 1990 and the species has clearly declined both in the south and on Sicily due to streamlets drying up. This species has a short-range dispersal power (≤ 1–2 km, according to recent studies) and fragmentation of its habitats leads to a prejudicial genetic confinement. It is suspected that future summer drying of small surface waters in connection to global warming and more frequent long summer drought periods will result in a strong rarefaction of the species over large areas in the next 20–30 years. The Near Threatened category is recommended, although a deterioration in status is likely to appear within a 20 year period.
History:
1996 Vulnerable
1994 Vulnerable (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Vulnerable (IUCN 1990)
1988 Vulnerable (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
1986 Endangered (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: West Europa and Maghreb.
Countries:
Native:
Algeria; Austria; Belgium; France; Germany; Italy; Liechtenstein; Luxembourg; Morocco; Netherlands; Portugal; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Switzerland; Tunisia; United Kingdom
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The species is rather common in France, except in the northwest, Iberia and Northern Morocco. Endangered in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Italy, Algeria, Tunisia, Slovakia. Critically Endangered in Belgium, Germany, Liechtenstein, Austria. Extinct in Luxembourg, The Netherlands and Slovenia. The records of this species in the Czech Republic and in Bulgaria are questionable. Records from Albania, Hungary, the Republic of Moldova and Romania are now considered as erroneous.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Small brooks and springs.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): River straightening, water harnessing, swamps and soil drainage, watertable lowering through irrigation, field destruction or conversion into other agricultural practices, water pollution. All modern intensive agricultural practices.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Preservation of traditional agricultural, control of water pollution. Forest clearing around rivers. Examples of restoration took place in some restricted places in the UK, and also in northeast France through some actions of the Conservatoire des Sites Lorrains.
Citation: Boudot, J.-P. 2006. Coenagrion mercuriale. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 19 April 2014.
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