Illinois Odonate Survey

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Since 2017, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum of the Chicago Academy of Sciences has been the home of the Illinois Odonate Survey.

This community scientist program is dedicated to surveying dragonfly and damselfly populations throughout Illinois.


About the Illinois Odonate Survey

The establishment of the Illinois Butterfly Monitoring Network in 1987 opened the door for the development of a variety of community science projects throughout Illinois and beyond, particularly those exploring and assessing the effects of habitat management on animal species.

Using that model, the Dragonfly Monitoring Network was created with the aim of gaining a greater knowledge of the distribution and abundance of dragonfly and damselfly species in the Chicago region. It was renamed the Illinois Odonate Survey in 2011 and became a Nature Museum community science program in 2017.

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What do Volunteers do?

After attending training sessions on data collection protocol and identifying common species they are likely to see in the field, volunteers are assigned routes in the Chicago region. Using a standardized form, they record all dragonflies and damselflies they observe along the route. They will survey their route up to six times from late May to early October. These observations are then submitted at the end of the season.

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