Dragonfly Workshop and Field Trip in Rossmore Forest Park
A second Heritage Week 2023 workshop on identifying and recording dragonflies and damselflies was hosted by Monaghan Wetlands Forum and Monaghan Tidy Towns with support from the Local Authority Wetlands Programme.
A second Heritage Week 2023 workshop on identifying and recording dragonflies and damselflies was hosted by Monaghan Wetlands Forum and Monaghan Tidy Towns with support from the Local Authority Wetlands Programme. The workshop was led by naturalist Michael Bell of NatureLearn who talked about the value of dragonflies and damselflies as indicators of the health of wetland habitats as they spend the majority of their lives as aquatic larvae. Tips were provided on how to identify the twenty or so species that are to be found in Co Monaghan, including two recent arrivals, the Emperor Dragonfly and Migrant Hawker, that are likely indicators of changing climate.
Participants were encouraged to record their own sightings for Dragonfly Ireland 2019 – 2024, an all-Ireland Citizen Science survey of dragonflies and damselflies, and their habitats, coordinated by the National Biodiversity Data Centre in the Republic of Ireland and by the Centre for Environmental Data and Recording in Northern Ireland. Michael explained how anyone can take part by submitting casual records or conducting site surveys of water bodies and water courses throughout the county.
After the talk, the group headed to Rossmore Forest Park for fieldwork. Expectations were low due to the remnants of Storm Betty passing through and heavy rain and winds the previous evening carrying on into the morning. Fortunately, conditions improved somewhat by afternoon and the group were able to record an impressive seven species, which will be added to the database of records for the Dragonfly Atlas project. The species recorded were Emperor Dragonfly, Brown Hawker, Common Hawker, Ruddy Darter, Common Darter, Emerald Damselfly and Blue-tailed Damselfly.
This was a Heritage Week Event