Concurrent Session: Wetlands and management in a changing climate
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Thu
CO-AUTHORS: Mark Martin, Madison Audubon (MA); JD Arnston, MA; Jim Otto, MA; Richard Armstrong, MA
TITLE: Odonata survey of five protected wetlands in southcentral Columbia County, Wisconsin, 2020-2022
ABSTRACT: Dragonflies and damselflies are an important part of the biodiversity of Wisconsin wetlands, however few wetlands have Odonata species lists. Our project focused on surveying for Odonates in five protected wetlands dominated by shallow marshes in south-central Columbia County. The primary goals were to document the species composition at different wetlands and to collect baseline data that can be used to examine the impacts of climate change and other changes over time on odonata populations. By assisting with the ongoing Wisconsin Odonata Survey (a citizen science project sponsored by the Wisconsin Dragonfly Society and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources), we sought to educate Madison Audubon members and the public about Odonates while involving volunteers in a citizen science project. The 2019 Columbia County Odonata list contained 75 species including 11 species that had not been reported for 50 or more years. To update the 2019 species list, our team collected data from 2020 to 2022 and reported those data to the Wisconsin Odonata Survey. We observed fifty-six species (24 damselflies and 32 dragonflies) including eight species that had never been reported in Columbia County and eight species that had not been reported in Columbia County in more than 50 years. We learned about species composition across the five survey sites, but the project also highlighted strategies and challenges related to surveying this diverse, charismatic, and often elusive group of insects. The focus of this presentation is not dragonfly identification, but rather, undertaking a citizen science project on a challenging group of insects.
BIO: Graham Steinhauer joined Madison Audubon as land steward at Goose Pond Sanctuary in 2018 after graduating from UW-Stevens Point with a Bachelor’s degree in forest ecosystem restoration. His primary work includes prairie, savanna, and wetland management, but citizen science projects, volunteer activities, and educational events, and community engagement are also important components of his job.