Orthoptera Conservation

Organizer: Axel Hochkirch

The ongoing loss of biodiversity is one of the key problems of our modern times. This biodiversity loss is caused by habitat destruction and alteration, invasion of non-native species, overexploitation, pollution/eutrophication and climate change. Recent red list assessments for the IUCN Red List of Threatened species have shown that Orthoptera are particularly sensitive to such changes.

In the European Red List of Orthoptera, ca. 26% of the species turned out to be threatened, which is higher than any other insect group and higher than any other terrestrial taxon assessed at the European level so far. This high vulnerability of grasshoppers, crickets and bush-crickets is caused by the low dispersal capabilities of most species (about two thirds are flightless) and their sensitivity to structural changes of their habitat (they are particularly sensitive to land use changes).

The currently ongoing assessments for the Sampled Red List Index (SRLI) of Orthoptera has shown that on a global scale many species are only known from their type localities or from a few taxonomic studies. For many species, information on their distribution, ecology, threats and population trends is lacking. This knowledge, however, is urgently needed to facilitate conservation action. In our symposium on Orthoptera Conservation, we will address recent advances in Orthoptera conservation, including Red List assessments and their implications, the use of strategic conservation planning as well as the implementation of conservation action.