We may claim to like them, but we humans are dragonflies’ worst enemies. While creating our own habitat we have destroyed much of their natural habitat. All our activities: farming, mining, logging, and building roads and cities, affect dragonflies and all Manitoba’s wildlife. Actions that affect wetlands have the greatest impact on dragonflies, whether it is building Hydro-electric dams, wetland drainage or pollution from agricultural runoff and city sewage.


In Manitoba’s Prairies Ecozone, very little of the original grassland habitat remains, and most of the wetlands (marshes, ponds and potholes) have been drained to improve agriculture.



Currently, no dragonflies in Manitoba are considered to be Species at Risk, but this is mainly because we know so little about their populations.


Dragonflies have been around for over 250 million years. They are good indicator species for the health of our aquatic environments. To conserve Manitoba’s dragonflies for future generations we must protect their habitat now. That means protecting all kinds of wetlands and uplands in all our ecozones; preserving both the quantity and quality of lakes, rivers, ponds and marshes and their surrounding habitats throughout our province. Healthy, clean and diverse wetland ecosystems will always have lots of dragonflies.

What can you do to help Manitoba’s dragonflies? Here are some ideas:

  • Make a donation to an agency that promotes conservation of natural habitat in Manitoba, or that promotes environmental education.

  • Go Green! Minimize use of pesticides and fertilizers. Use less water and energy. Walk or bike instead of driving. Avoid buying products you can’t reuse or recycle. When you reduce your impact on our environment, you help all wildlife.

  • Express yourself! Let your friends, neighbours, local politicians and others know that you care about dragonflies and want them and their habitat protected. Make your ideas and your vote count!

  • Build a backyard dragonfly pond. Nearly any significant body of water can be habitat for dragonflies. A “dragonfly pond” should be at least 30 cm deep and have a variety of plants in the water and around the pond edge. There should be rocks, pebbles and sticks in the water to create a diverse habitat with hiding places for nymphs. Small fish, like guppies or sticklebacks, in the water are a good idea to help control mosquito larvae, and to be food for larger nymphs, but larger fish, like goldfish and koi, will eat too many nymphs. A small pond will freeze to the bottom in winter, so it will be habitat only for species that complete the nymph stage in one summer. A larger pond that doesn’t freeze solid, at least 1 m deep, can be habitat for many more species.

  • Join the Manitoba Dragonfly Survey. The MDS, with its many volunteers, is playing an important role providing basic information on dragonflies to Manitoba Conservation and other agencies. Knowledge is power, and a greater knowledge of Manitoba’s dragonflies will provide more power to protect them. For more on the MDS, or if you’d like to join, visit:

The Manitoba Dragonfly Survey website

The fate of Manitoba's dragonflies and of all our wildlife is in YOUR hands!

1) Basic Biology

2) Life Cycle

3) Palaeobiology

4) Biodiversity

5) Biogeography

6) Overwintering / Migration

7) Food

8) Sight and Flight

9) Cultural Significance

10) Conservation

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