Columbia clubtail (dragonfly) (Gomphus lynnae)

Photo not available for this species
Category: Other insects
Ecosystems: Riparian areas
State status: Candidate
Vulnerability to climate change (More details)


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Climate vulnerability

Sensitivity to climate change


Columbia clubtail sensitivity is driven by increased water and air temperatures, and altered flow regimes (summer low flows and winter flooding and sediment or nutrient loading from upstream flooding and erosion). CC phenology is highly sensitive to changes in water and air temperature: affecting the timing of and duration of adult emergence. CC is vulnerable due to its use of a narrow range of substrate conditions within restricted and hydrologically sensitive habitat (i.e. slow-moving, open sandy to muddy, rivers with gravelly rapids located within xeric sagebrush-riparian woodland), and low-dispersal. Eggs are laid in water, and after hatching, larvae burrow and overwinter in river mud. Water temperature influences emergence timing, while warmer air temperatures influence adult flight times, affecting foraging and energy demands. Reduced summer streamflow can exacerbate increasing water temperatures and effects on clubtail aquatic eggs and larvae. In addition, lower streamflows may strand eggs or larvae, causing mortality via desiccation. Increased winter flooding that enhances scour and/or that causes significant sedimentation may reduce larval survival. Sediment loading from upstream flooding may inundate and smother eggs and larvae.

Confidence: High

Exposure to climate change


  • Increased air and water temperatures
  • Altered flow regimes (low summer flows and increased winter flooding) >Drought
  • Sediment or nutrient loading from upstream flooding and erosion
Confidence: Moderate


This species is identified as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) under the State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP). SGCN-classified species include both those with and without legal protection status under the Federal or State Endangered Species programs, as well as game species with low populations. The WDFW SWAP is part of a nationwide effort by all 50 states and five U.S. territories to develop conservation action plans for fish, wildlife and their natural habitats—identifying opportunities for species' recovery before they are imperiled and more limited.
This species is identified as a Priority Species under WDFW's Priority Habitat and Species Program. Priority species require protective measures for their survival due to their population status, sensitivity to habitat alteration, and/or recreational, commercial, or tribal importance. The PHS program is the agency's main means of sharing fish and wildlife information with local governments, landowners, and others who use it to protect priority habitats for land use planning.