Dragonfly conservation in South Africa: a biogeographical perspective
Odonatologica , Volume 21 - Issue 2 p. 165- 180
Most of the 153 South African odon. spp. (the taxonomic status of 2 of which is uncertain) are widespread African elements, whose ranges extend into the southern tip of the continent especially along the eastern seaboard, where there are suitable warm and moist climatic conditions. The endemics make up only 18% of the total (14% Zygoptera, 4% Anisoptera). The Cape, which is well-known for its high level of endemicity in many plant and animal groups, makes up only 9% of the total odon. fauna. 4 zygopteran and I anisopteran Cape endemics are listed in the 1990 1UCN Red List, Also listed is I montane Natal Drakensberg endemic zygopteran and 1 highly localized coastal Natal anisopteran. Many of the endemics occur in water catchment wilderness areas or nature reserves, and are not immediately threatened with extinction, although the long-term global changes are of particular concern for southern African spp. Much further research is required on the exact distribution and abundance of all spp., especially the lUCN-catagorized ones. Although loss of wetlands has been severe in South Africa, farm dams have, on the contrary, benefitted many spp. A pilot scheme to develop a dragonfly reserve in a botanic garden is also underway.
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