Dragonflies and the importance of natural history for biodiversity conservation

Sir David Attenboroug

Klaas-Douwe ‘KD’ B. Dijkstra is a research associate at the Natural Biodiversity Center in Leiden, The Netherlands and also affiliated with the Conservation Ecology and Entomology Department at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. He recently published an article entitled “Restore our sense of species” in Nature, an open access journal.  In this piece he argues that natural history and taxonomy are critical to provide a moral counterbalance to Earth’s runaway exploitation.

He argues that intact biodiversity is the embodiment of sustainability, and that expanding and sharing our consciousness of other species is one of the greatest challenges of our time. He is also a specialist of dragonflies, indicators of healthy ecosystems, and recently surveyed for them in Rwanda.  He recently revised the Acisoma dragonfly group and described a new species, Acisoma attenboroughi . He discovered and named the species after Sir David Attenborough, who dedicated his life to natural history and educating the public about earth’s biodiversity. This article can be found in Zootaxa.  Klaas-Douwe ‘KD’ B. Dijkstra honored Sir David on his 90th birthday by naming this new species, Attenborough’s pintail, for him.  We hope KD will be coming back to Rwanda soon to survey more biodiversity.

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