Land Trust Receives Grant to Protect Dragonfly Habitat

The Door County Land Trust has been awarded a $196,736 Midwest Coastal Grant from the United States Fish & Wildlife Service to conduct invasive-species control at Kellner Fen Natural Area just north of Sturgeon Bay.

The control of these invasive plants directly relates to protecting the Hine’s emerald dragonfly in Door County, where an estimated two-thirds of the world’s population of the dragonfly lives. Kellner Fen is one of 11 areas on the peninsula identified as critical breeding habitat for these dragonflies.

“Other than protecting the direct loss of habitat due to development, removal of invasive species to restore ecological processes that threaten Hine’s emerald dragonfly populations is the most important thing we can do to protect them,” said Jesse Koyen, Door County Land Trust stewardship director. 

The Hine’s emerald dragonfly is the only endemic federally endangered animal in Door County. Their strict habitat requirements are what make these insects so rare: They need marshes and wet meadows fed by alkaline groundwater seepage over a base of dolomite bedrock.

The grant will allow Door County Land Trust to greatly expand on previous invasive-species control work by increasing habitat-restoration efforts to the entire Kellner Fen Natural Area. Because the Hine’s emerald dragonfly forages well beyond its breeding locations, enhancing the entire natural area will benefit the species by restoring native ecological processes and stopping the succession of woody invasive plants, thus creating a buffer for future work and improving foraging habitat.

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