Stubborn life

Hine’s emerald dragonfly—Carol Freeman Photography

Amidst all the well-deserved concern for wildlife and species loss, it’s good to be reminded every once and a while that life is stubborn.  I was reminded of life’s persistence today, when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service formally began to reexamine what areas should be protected as “critical habitat” for the Hine’s emerald dragonfly.

Besides being beautiful, the Hine’s emerald dragonfly is one of those rare endangered species that you don’t have to trek into a wilderness to see—in fact, there are populations near Chicago; and, tucked into the Fish and Wildlife Service’s critical habitat notice, was the announcement of the discovery of a new population of dragonflies on three acres of land in the Mark Twain National Forest, not too far from St. Louis.

Most species will cling to existence to the very end and the world is full of examples of animals and plants that have come roaring back in the face of what must have once seemed like almost certain oblivion.  For every passenger pigeon, there is a peregrine falcon.  For every river dolphin, there is a gray whale.  We just need to get out of the way.

Happy Earth Day.