Boyeria cretensis 

Scope: Global, Europe & Mediterranean
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Arthropoda Insecta Odonata Aeshnidae

Scientific Name: Boyeria cretensis Peters, 1991
Common Name(s):
English Cretan Spectre, Creatan Spectre
Taxonomic Source(s): Schorr, M. and Paulson, D. 2013. World Odonata List. Tacoma, Washington, USA Available at: (Accessed: 20 November 2013).
Taxonomic Notes: Formerly, confused with and regarded as a subpopulation of Boyeria irene (Fonscolombe, 1838), but both species are clearly distinct (Boudot 1989, Peters 1991).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered C2a(i) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-04-20
Assessor(s): Boudot, J.-P.
Reviewer(s): De Knijf, G., Ferreira, S. & Riservato, E.
European regional assessment: Endangered (EN)
EU 27 regional assessment: Endangered (EN)

Boyeria cretensis is endemic to the island of Crete, Greece. Its present known extent of occurrence is about 2,120 km² (polygon method) and the species is presently known only from 21 places spread over 11 streamlets. Overall, there are no more than 2,500 mature individuals left in these populations. A future population and range decline is expected due to climate change and rapid habitat destruction due to water exploitation. All lotic (flowing water) habitats in Crete are endangered given the present climate trend and related increased water captation (capturing water at its source) developed as a reaction. Therefore this species is listed as Endangered.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Boyeria cretensis is endemic to the island of Crete (Greece). Most individuals are found in small subpopulations isolated by high mountain systems and dry areas: a first aggregate of five river systems is known west of the Lefka Ori mountains in the westernmost part of Crete, another of 11 river systems lies between the Lefka Ori and the Psiloritis (Mount Idi) mountains and north of the latter in Central Crete, whereas one single isolated locality was found east of the Dikti mountains in the easternmost part of Crete (Battin 1989, Boudot et al. 2009, Lopau 2000, Schneider and Müller 2006).
Countries occurrence:
Greece (Kriti)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:21-26
Number of Locations:11-15
Lower elevation limit (metres):600
Upper elevation limit (metres):50
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The species occurs generally in small populations, but a population of more than 110 adults has been recorded in one place. It is known that the species is extinct in the type locality and it is believed to be extinct in four other localities.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:Yes

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The species is highly specific in its habitat, being associated with the upper courses of permanent shady brooks with moderate current and rock pools. The distribution of this endemic dragonfly is restricted to rivulets with permanent water and pronounced gallery vegetation in a narrow belt between 50 and 600 m above sea level belonging to the thermo-Mediterranean and meso-Mediterranean zone of Crete.
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): B. cretensis has presumably declined as a result of rapid habitat destruction and degradation, human exploitation of water, water pollution, eutrophication and forest destruction. B. cretensis is threatened due to its very restricted distribution, its low number of known localities (26 places on 17 streamlets) and its high level of stenotopy (adapted to a specific environment). The current agricultural policy favours the decrease of B. cretensis by allowing for and favouring the cultivation and irrigation of olive trees, the change of water regime of streams and streamlets and the destruction of their gallery vegetation. Many populations are small and relatively isolated. Climatic change alone will also have a negative impact on breeding sites in the future, but this is already exacerbated by the increased water demand for agriculture and urbanized areas.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Control of water use and preservation of gallery forest are required. The extractions of water from springs and headwaters should be absolutely prohibited, whereas this kind of alteration is clearly increasing throughout Greece as a response to climate change. Erection of natural reserves involving the upper course of Cretan brooks is necessary. Mapping of populations is also needed, as current records are limited (only 21 from 1980 onwards). The establishment of protected areas is necessary.

Citation: Boudot, J.-P. 2010. Boyeria cretensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T60307A12341708. . Downloaded on 23 July 2018.
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