16084446-1

Chorthippus pullus 

Scope: Europe
Language: English
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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Arthropoda Insecta Orthoptera Acrididae

Scientific Name: Chorthippus pullus (Philippi, 1830)
Common Name(s):
English Gravel Grasshopper
Synonym(s):
Gryllus pullus Philippi, 1830
Taxonomic Source(s): Eades, D.C., Otte, D., Cigliano, M.M. and Braun, H. 2016. Orthoptera Species File. Version 5.0/5.0. Available at: http://Orthoptera.SpeciesFile.org.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern (Regional assessment) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-04-20
Assessor(s): Hochkirch, A., Holusa, J., Szovenyi, G., Kristin, A., Zuna-Kratky, T., Monnerat, C., Defaut, B., Iorgu, I.S., Ivkovic, S., Gomboc, S., Liana, A., Willemse, L.P.M., Presa, J.J., Kleukers, R., Chobanov, D.P. & Rutschmann, F.
Reviewer(s): Bushell, M. & Cálix, M.
Contributor(s): Kranz, M.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Nieto, A.
Justification:
European regional assessment: Least Concern (LC)
EU 28 regional assessment: Vulnerable (VU)

The Gravel Grasshopper (Chorthippus pullus) is quite widespread in Europe but locally rare, particularly in the western part of its geographic range. This species is assessed as Least Concern in Europe since it has an extremely large geographic range and the overall population size is likely to be very large. However, the species is known to be declining in large parts of its range (mainly in the western part) as a consequence of destruction of its gravel habitats by river regulations and dams, and of its heathland habitats by transformation into farmland and afforestation. In the EU 28, this species is assessed as Vulnerable since its area of occupancy (AOO) has been estimated to be between 1,000 and 1,500 km², the population is severely fragmented and there is a continuing decline in the AOO, extent and quality of the habitat, number of subpopulation and number of mature individuals. No significant immigration from outside the EU 28 is expected as the species is flightless. Protection of its habitats is the most important conservation action necessary for this species. Restoration of natural river courses, particularly of natural floodplain dynamics and its heathland habitats is also required. Research into its population trend, particularly in the eastern part of its range, is recommended.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The Gravel Grasshopper is distributed from the western Alps to northern and eastern European Russia (Heller 2013). In the southern part of its range it is mainly found in alpine habitats. Its extent of occurrence (EOO) in Europe is ca 5.8 million km², and in the EU 28 it is ca 1.6 million km². In the EU 28 the area of occupancy (AOO) is estimated to be between 1,000 and 1,500 km².
Countries occurrence:
Native:
Austria; Czech Republic; Estonia; France (France (mainland)); Germany; Italy (Italy (mainland)); Latvia; Lithuania; Moldova; Poland; Romania; Russian Federation (Central European Russia, East European Russia, European Russia, North European Russia, Northwest European Russia, South European Russia); Slovakia; Switzerland; Ukraine (Krym, Ukraine (main part))
Possibly extinct:
Slovenia
Additional data:
Range Map:16084446-1

Population [top]

Population:A strong decline of this species has been documented in the western part of its range. In Germany, the decline was documented in the 1990s, but probably started earlier. A monitoring program from 1996 to 2005 showed another strong decline in 1999 (Schödl 2007). In Poland, the species has disappeared from many localities in mountains as a result of environmental changes (A. Liana pers. comm. 2016). The species is extremely rare in Italy with the largest subpopulation (near Lerpa) consisting of c. 50 individuals on 1,000 m² (Fontana et al. 2004). In Germany, a mark-recapture study has shown that the largest subpopulation at the river Isar consisted of 144 individuals (Maag et al. 2013), while a subpopulation in Austria was estimated to consist of 1,912 individuals in 1993 (on 5,000 m²) and 2,721 in 1994 (Schwarz-Waubke 2001). In Switzerland (Nature Reserve Pfynwald), two subpopulations were studied using mark-recapture with subpopulation sizes of 920 and 1,538 individuals, respectively (Walther 2006). After a severe decline in Switzerland most subpopulations are now believed to be stable there (C. Monnerat pers. comm. 2016). In Lithuania the species is also considered rare with a single subpopulation (Budrys and Pakalniskis 2007). Overall, the subpopulations are usually small and very isolated, and may go extinct with a reduced probability of recolonisation. The population is therefore considered severely fragmented. The current population trend is decreasing and a continuing decline of the population is inferred from the overall loss of subpopulations in the Alps. The overall population size is likely to be very large.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is found on gravel banks, sandy pebbly islands with scarce vegetation along alpine rivers, warm sandy heathland habitats, sandy forest edges and clearings with bare ground in coniferous forests (Maas et al. 2011). In the Alps regular flooding events and a high dynamics of riverine habitats are necessary for the occurrence of this species (Maag et al. 2013). The species needs open patches and does not tolerate shading (Freivogel 2003). It feeds preferably on grasses, particularly Calamagrostis varia (Schwarz-Waubke 1997, Lemke et al. 2010). The species is usually flightless but fully winged individuals regularly occur (Maag et al. 2013). Its mobility is very small with a home range of usually less than 20 m (Schwarz-Waubke 1998).
Systems:Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: The species is not utilised.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): In alpine habitats, river regulations and dam constructions represent the most serious threats to this species. The lack of natural floodplain dynamics leads to increasing succession by bushes (Schödl 2007). Furthermore, the species is threatened by extraction of river gravel. In lowland regions its heathland habitats have been destroyed by afforestation and transformation into farmland. Recently, succession by bushes and trees is also the major threat in the remaining habitats (Schädler and Stadler 2000).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The Gravel Grasshopper and is listed as "Priority 1" (Critically Endangered or Endangered) on the Red List of France (Sardet and Defaut 2004), as Critically Endangered in Switzerland (Monnerat et al. 2007), Germany (Maas et al. 2011), as Endangered in Austria (Berg et al. 2005) and Vulnerable in Poland (Liana 2002). On the Carpathian Red List, it is listed as Near Threatened (Kristin and Iorgu 2014). This species is present in protected areas. Protection of its habitats is the most important conservation action necessary for this species. Restoration of natural river courses, particularly of natural floodplain dynamics (Lemke et al. 2010) and its heathland habitats is also required. Some conservation programs are in place in the western part of its range, particularly in the Alps. A population along the Piave river (Italy) has been fenced off during street restoration works in 2003 and some awareness raising has been done by the local administration (Fontana et al. 2004). A monitoring program was conducted from 1996 to 2005 at the rivers Isar and Ammer in Bavaria (Schödl 2007). In Austria the species benefits from general river restoration projects (T. Zuna-Kratky pers. comm. 2016). In Switzerland, the species is a national priority species for conservation (C. Monnerat pers. comm. 2016). Research into its population trend, particularly in the eastern part of its range, is recommended.

Citation: Hochkirch, A., Holusa, J., Szovenyi, G., Kristin, A., Zuna-Kratky, T., Monnerat, C., Defaut, B., Iorgu, I.S., Ivkovic, S., Gomboc, S., Liana, A., Willemse, L.P.M., Presa, J.J., Kleukers, R., Chobanov, D.P. & Rutschmann, F. 2016. Chorthippus pullus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T16084446A74251318. . Downloaded on 26 May 2018.
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