News Release

Invasive species put dragonfly in the shade

12 March 2009
Yellow Presba (Syncordulia gracilis) - Photo © Michael Samways

The Yellow Presba is a rare dragonfly from the fast flowing mountain rivers of Southern Africa. Its conservation status is Vulnerable on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ because of the spread of introduced trees throughout its native habitat.

The Yellow Presba (Syncordulia legator) is one of many Southern African dragonflies currently under threat. Others have also suffered catastrophic declines because of human related problems like pollution, habitat loss to farming and the introduction of non-native trees. The spread of invasive species is now recognized as one of the greatest threats to the environment and our economic well-being. Trees such as the Australian Black Wattle (Acacia mearnsii), that were introduced commercially, encroach along riverbanks and shade out the sun, killing off the grasses that are home to dragonflies. The tragedy of losing these creatures is magnified to a global scale because many are endemic to southern Africa and can be found nowhere else on Earth.

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