THE Pembrokeshire home of a rare dragonfly species has been safeguarded thanks to the combined efforts of several conservation organisations, the landowner and local farmers.
The Southern Damselfly is under threat of extinction and therefore protected by law both in the UK and Europe. While clusters can be found in parts of north-west Europe, it is thought that up to 25% of the global population occurs in the UK, where the species has two main strongholds.
One of them is Pensarn Corner on the Preseli Mountains, where an access-clearing project recently took place to ensure the habitat is maintained and protected well into the future.
The work was carried out by the British Dragonfly Society, Natural Resources Wales and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, and received funding from Environment Wales. The organisations also received the full support of the landowners (the Barony of Cemais) as well as local farmers whose livestock graze the common land.
NRW’s Senior Conservation Officer, Jon Hudson explains: “This is an area with several specialist wetland features including streams, bogs, flushes and pools. It is the confluence of several streams and an important access area for livestock, graziers and walkers to the common.”
BDS Conservation Manager, Claire Install added: “This matchstick-sized blue and black damselfly has very specific habitat requirements and is currently under threat through changes in land management. Projects like this are vital if we want to continue to see this species in Pembrokeshire.”
Pensarn Corner is also home to the near-threatened Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly. This project means that their required habitat is maintained by directing livestock across an area of wetland favoured by this species. It lives and breeds in muddy areas with little vegetation and shallow water.