Feds enlarge protected zone for troubled dragonfly in MI


The federal government has doubled the size of a protected zone in the Midwest for the only dragonfly on the U.S. endangered species list.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Friday that 26,532 acres in Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin will be designated as critical habitat for the Hine's emerald dragonfly.

Originally, only about 13,200 acres had the designation. Under the law, federal agencies must consult with Fish and Wildlife Service biologists before issuing permits for activities in the zone that might harm the insect.

Habitat loss is the biggest reason why the Hine's emerald dragonfly is in trouble. It lives in Midwestern wetland areas, many of which have been drained for farming or development.