Given the wide geographic scope of dragonfly migration, citizen-science observations are critical to furthering knowledge of this remarkable behavior. Our understanding of the migration phenomenon in dragonflies has advanced as engagement in Migratory Dragonfly Partnership projects soar across North America. Now 1,000-strong, MDP’s volunteer network has helped reveal several insights into the behavior and seasonal movements of migrant dragonflies.
Observations made by volunteers, combined with work by MDP partners at the University of Maryland, the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, and the Vermont Center for Ecostudies using elements (stable isotopes) found in dragonfly wings, has helped to track migrants back to their natal ponds. The study of stable isotopes not only can determine the latitude of origin, but also characterize the timing of annual movements in eastern North America as well as the direction and distance traveled by individual dragonflies.