Rare dragonfly back in Cambridgeshire, England

This video says about itself:

The Norfolk Hawker – its life, laying eggs and getting killed by a hairy dragonfly.

From Wildlife Extra:

Rare dragonfly returns to Cambridgeshire after 120 years

Rare Norfolk Hawker moves to Cambridgeshire!

June 2013. The British Dragonfly Society has confirmed that a new breeding population of rare Norfolk Hawker dragonflies has been found at Paxton Pits Nature Reserve, Little Paxton, Cambridgeshire, a reserve managed by Huntingdonshire District Council Countryside Services. This is the first breeding site to be discovered outside of the species’ Norfolk and Suffolk stronghold since Norfolk Hawkers were lost from the Cambridgeshire fens 120 years ago!


Dr Pam Taylor, President of the British Dragonfly Society, said: “The Norfolk Hawker is an endangered dragonfly protected by law, so the discovery of a totally new population is very exciting indeed. The main threats to the species in its Norfolk Broads and coastal Suffolk habitats are sea level rise and saline intrusion into freshwater dykes and ditches. The discovery of a new inland site, well protected from these threats, could help to preserve the future of Norfolk Hawkers in the UK.”

Kirstien Drew, Paxton Pits Ranger, said: “Paxton Pits Nature Reserve is home to many different species of dragonfly, but to find that the Norfolk Hawker is breeding in our lakes is a major discovery and something we will be monitoring very closely.”


The first recent sighting of Norfolk Hawker in Cambridgeshire came two years ago when a male was seen holding territory over water soldier plants in Hayling Lake at Paxton Pits Nature Reserve. Last year a female Norfolk Hawker was observed on the neighbouring Rudd Lake. This season the first reported sighting came from Potton Wood, just over the border in Bedfordshire. This prompted a search for the possible source of this dragonfly and a number of exuviae (shed larval cases) were found at Paxton Pits Nature Reserve. Further searches by boat a few days later revealed no fewer than 26 Norfolk Hawkers have already emerged from Hayling Lake. If they return to breed successfully again later this month, the future of Norfolk Hawker dragonflies in Cambridgeshire could be secure.

Norfolk Hawker is a large gingery-brown dragonfly with conspicuous apple-green eyes. It has largely clear wings, two yellow stripes on each side of the thorax and a yellow triangle near the top of the abdomen. After living as aquatic larvae for two years, adults usually emerge from late May onwards. In most years the species can still be seen flying until early August. Norfolk Hawker was listed as a Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) species in 2007. The localised distribution of this species in low-lying areas of the broads and coastal marshes make it vulnerable to extinction from climate change and sea-level rise. A local BAP document outlining actions to record and protect the species was published in March 2010. Norfolk Hawker dragonfly is fully protected under Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended). It is also listed in section 41 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006 and is described as Endangered in the Odonata Red Data List Norfolk Hawker Aeshna isosceles.

2 thoughts on “Rare dragonfly back in Cambridgeshire, England

  1. Pingback: Rare dragonfly comeback in England | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Rare dragonfly back in the Netherlands | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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