Journal of Insect Conservation

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 133–140 | Cite as

Movement and habitat selection by Argia vivida (Hagen) (Odonata, Coenagrionidae) in fuel-modified forest

  • Andrea D. Kortello
  • Simon J. Ham
Original Paper


Fuel management for wildfire protection is becoming increasingly common in the wildland–urban interface and may have conservation implications for species with restricted distributions and limited dispersal abilities. To evaluate the impact of forest fuel management on the damselfly Argia vivida at the northern margin of its range, we examined terrestrial movements and habitat associations using Capture-Mark-Recapture and point count techniques. We found that habitats away from the springs were particularly important for A. vivida females. Most damselflies travelled at least 50 m between capture and recapture and patches of cleared forest up to this size did not pose a barrier to movement. Although A. vivida typically roosts in trees at night, cleared fuel treatment areas were preferred over unmodified or thinned forest as daytime basking and foraging sites. Preferred sites were also characterized by heterogeneous canopy closure, i.e., a clearing adjacent to unmodified forest with a closed canopy. We speculate that this behaviour derives from the species’ thermoregulation requirements; the use of sunspots for thermal basking during the day and the use of forest cover at night to slow the radiant loss of heat. Our findings demonstrate the scale of movements that define available habitat and the importance of both daytime and night time habitat requirements in considering terrestrial foraging and movement corridors. Consequently, conservation efforts for this species in fuel management areas should focus on maintaining unmodified stands of dense trees in association with cleared patches of appropriate dimension, rather than a uniformly thinned forest.


Odonata Fuel management Habitat Dispersal Movement 



Funding for this research came from Parks Canada. We thank Ian Pengelly for his support of this project. Field data was collected with the help of Steve Bertollo. Dwayne and Brenda Lepitzki contributed useful observations and Gordon Pritchard provided helpful suggestions on the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Banff National Park, Fire and Vegetation Management ProgramBanffCanada
  2. 2.Banff National Park Wildlife LaboratoryBanffCanada

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