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New Dragonfly Species in UAE Signifies Increased Rainfall and Greenery

DALL·E 2024 01 22 00.32.37 A close up image of the newly discovered Ground Skimmer dragonfly in the UAE perched on a leaf in a lush green environment. The dragonfly should be d

The discovery of a new dragonfly species in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has become a symbol of the country’s increasing greenery and rainfall, marking a significant environmental shift. This discovery, made in the Hajar mountains of Sharjah by Dubai-based naturalist Binish Roobas, indicates a notable increase in the UAE’s natural green spaces and water sources.

Binish Roobas, while conducting research for his upcoming book “Dragonflies and Damselflies of UAE,” came across the Ground Skimmer, an Australasian dragonfly species previously unreported in the UAE. This small, low-flying dragonfly is typically found across the Indian Subcontinent, East and Southeast Asia, the Indonesian islands, and Australia. The only previous sighting in the Arabian region was on Masirah Island, Oman, in 2019, following a tropical cyclone.

The Ground Skimmer, not typically associated with water like most dragonflies, often perches on open ground beside roads, trails, and disturbed areas. This species’ preference for tropical and green habitats with permanent water bodies underscores the environmental changes in the UAE. Binish, along with Gary Feulner, Chairman of the Dubai Natural History Group, conducted extensive research, capturing photos and videos of the species across various emirates. Their findings reveal a broader environmental trend in the region.

The increase in greenery and water in the UAE is a result of concerted efforts towards environmental sustainability and climate resilience. Rain and freshwater resources have improved significantly, reshaping the country’s landscape and biodiversity. The presence of the Ground Skimmer in the UAE is a testament to these changes, mirroring the efforts to enhance the natural environment.

Additionally, the dragonfly’s presence is not attributed to passive transportation through foreign plants or soil but likely due to exceptional weather events or gradual migration in response to regional climatic factors. Roobas and Feulner are optimistic about the species’ chances of survival and proliferation in the UAE, given the country’s evolving landscape.

The discovery of the Ground Skimmer in the UAE signifies a positive environmental shift, reflecting increased rain and greenery. This development not only enriches the biodiversity of the region but also highlights the success of the UAE’s environmental initiatives. As the country continues to transform its landscape, such discoveries are expected to become more frequent, painting a hopeful picture of the UAE’s ecological future.

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