Dragonflies and Damselflies as indicators of Ecological health of freshwater sources in the Upper MacRitchie Basin in the Central Catchment area of Singapore
Tan Hoe Teck
Tan Hoe Teck
Dragonflies and damselflies (Order Odonata) have been used as bio-indicators for the assessment of ecological health of freshwater habitats. I have applied this method in the Upper MacRitchie Basin in the Central Catchment Area of Singapore. To evaluate the potential of odonates as bio-indicators, I concurrently measured the main parameters of the freshwater sources in the areas where dragonflies and damselflies were collected and a correlation between Odonata diversity and water quality parameters was attempted. The results indicated that in general, dragonflies and damselflies thrive in different habitat types within the Upper MacRitchie Basin. At the species level, there was evidence to suggest that different species have their own microhabitats in which they thrive. A distribution map and a matrix was developed so that it can be used as a handy observation tool that can be adopted by informed volunteers, amateurs, and hobbyists. Such an arrangement can involve more people to contribute as environmental activists to the protection of our water resources. Merits and limitations of the method are also discussed as well as potential directions for future research are highlighted.