Journal of Insect Conservation

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 141–149 | Cite as

Reintroduction of the rare damselfly Ischnura gemina (Odonata: Coenagrionidae) into an urban California park

  • Eugene R. Hannon
  • John E. Hafernik
Original Paper


Habitat degradation led to local extinction of the San Francisco forktail damselfly (Ischnura gemina) in Glen Canyon Park, San Francisco, California. In this study, we reintroduced I. gemina into Glen Canyon after the damselfly’s habitat was restored. Upon release, we carried out a mark- release-recapture study to monitor the damselfly’s population dynamics. Our data were compared to two “baseline” studies on I. gemina, conducted in the park prior to the damselfly’s demise. Our recapture rates were significantly lower than the prior studies due to a large initial decline in marked individuals upon release. Despite a lower recapture rate, the reintroduction was initially successful since the damselflies reproduced throughout the summer and the following year. However, the population failed to persist during the second year when the habitat became degraded with excess vegetation. Future success is contingent on the continual management and upkeep of the habitat.


Reintroduction Ischnura gemina Damselfly Urban restoration 


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We thank the California Conservation Corps, the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, and the Friends of Glen Canyon for logistical and financial assistance. We thank Michelle L. Rozman for her valuable assistance in the original collection and translocation of I. gemina; John J. Brown, Rosser W. Garrison, Ralph J. Larson, Joan M. Leong, Thomas M. Niesen, and Gary L. Piper for their helpful comments on an earlier version of the manuscript; and Karla J. Lindquist for her help with statistical analyses.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologySan Francisco State UniversitySan FranciscoUSA

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