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  • Cynthia McKee

Odolympics - Citizen Science

Last year Odonata Central, the clearing house for North American (north of Mexico) dragonfly and damselfly information, initiated the "Odolympics" during which citizen scientists perform odonata censuses and submit their data to the database at the Odonata Central website. This year's Odolympics was conducted from July 16th through July 23rd during which period John and I conducted 20 surveys at 14 different sites in Hidalgo and Cameron Counties. Although the dry conditions have made it a poor year for odonates in general, we succeeded in finding 1,740 individuals of 48 different species and this information, with 166 documentation photos, has been uploaded on a per survey site basis to Odonata Central.

Coincidentally, our total in last year's Odolympics was also 48 species but they weren't all the same species so our 2-year total species is 55. We always feel we coulda-shouda done better but some analysis of this year's overall North American results, posted so far, does provide some satisfaction. We found 47% of the 103 total species observed in Texas and 22% of the 220 species observed in all of North America. Nine of our species (some as shown in the included documentation photos) were not found by anyone else in Texas and 7 of the 9, being primarily deep south Texas specialties, were not found by anyone else anywhere in North America. Doing such faunal surveys and making some small contribution to the knowledge of species' population densities and range limits is our favorite way to volunteer.



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