Proposal for a time-based standard sampling method for the monitoring of Gomphus flavipes (Charpentier, 1825) and Ophiogomphus cecilia (Fourcroy, 1785) (Odonata: Gomphidae)
Keywords:Dragonfly, monitoring protocol, exuviae, Habitats Directive, Gomphidae, Italy
Monitoring of conservation status is an obligation arising from Article 11 of the Habitats Directive for all species of community interest. However, the development of monitoring methods for invertebrate species has received relatively little attention. Gomphus flavipes (Charpentier, 1825) and Ophiogomphus cecilia (Fourcroy, 1785) are two dragonfly species, listed in the annexes of the Habitats Directive, which suffered severe declines in the last century and have since recovered. Methods for the monitoring of these two gomphids have been proposed, but these have not been extensively tested and no abundance classes have been proposed for the evaluation of the conservation status of these species. A time-based standard sampling method is proposed for both species and results from numerous sites in Lombardy, northern Italy, are presented. Applying the standard method revealed that it is common for rivers that high water levels preclude sampling of exuviae through the summer and it is better to allow for two seasons when planning the monitoring. A further result is the fact that it was not always possible to sample the same stretches as the dynamic nature of the rivers and fluctuations in water level lead to some river banks becoming unsuitable for sampling during some visits. In these cases the time-based approach was advantageous, as the method did not need to be modified in response to the original bank section becoming unsuitable.