Pond Watch: Migratory Dragonfly Monitoring


Although it spans three countries and has been documented since the 1880s, North American dragonfly migration is still poorly understood and much remains to be learned about migratory cues, flight pathways, and the southern limits of overwintering grounds. The Migratory Dragonfly Pond Watch Project is an international effort by citizen scientists to help monitor the presence, emergence, and behaviors of five migratory dragonfly species. When gathered across a wide geographic range and throughout a span of years, these data will provide answers to questions about which species are regular migrants; the frequency and timing of migration in different species; sources, routes, and destinations of migrants; and patterns of reproduction, emergence, and movements among migratory dragonflies along their flight paths.

The Forest Service Wings Across the Americas program assists in research, conservation management and capacity building to maintain healthy ecosystems here at home and outside the US. Investing in international conservation protects our investments here at home, reduces the risk of increasing endangered species, builds scientific knowledge and creates a cadre of trained scientists and managers to bring about positive conservation action. You too, can help us to conserve birds, bats, and insects by sharing what you observe.



International: Mexico, Canada 



The Xerces Society 

Migratory Dragonfly Partnership


Accepting Participants

Yes, this project is accepting volunteers


How To Get Involved

Visit the MDP website and log in as a new user. Download a PDF of the MDP Monitoring Protocols manual, register your pond as a Pond Watch site, and start reporting your observations.


Participant Requirements

This project is open to all ages. Anyone willing to learn the 5 main migratory dragonfly species in North America can participate.


Participant Tasks

  • Annotation
  • Data entry
  • Identification
  • Photography
  • Site selection and/or description  

By visiting the same wetland or pond site on a regular basis, participants will note the arrival of migrant dragonflies moving south in the fall or north in the spring, as well as any additional behaviors observed in a migratory flight including feeding or mating. Photos or videos are strongly encouraged to aid in identification.

Moths aflutter in honor of National Moth Week

Imagine wandering through your favorite botanic garden in the early evening and catching a glimpse of the moon reflected off of something lime green that moves from flower to flower while closer to the ground the yellow glow of fireflies help illuminate the night.

It’s enough to make you feel like you’re in a Shakespearean forest.

But the lime green is really the wings that belong to what some consider the most beautiful insect – the Luna moth. Those who do catch a glimpse of this unique moth are lucky – as they are rarely seen due to their short life span.

When forests are under attack: Bugs, disease, invasive plants attack our forests…Who you gonna call? Forest Health Protection!

Sometimes, heroes aren’t who we expect. With more than 750 million acres classified as forest land and millions more acres with trees in urban areas, the U.S. population receives a wide array of services and commodities from forests, such as wood and other forest products, recreation, wildlife, clean water, energy and jobs.