Frankfurt/Main/Mönchberg (dpa) – Not climate change, but the disappearance of its habitat killing Europe’s spotted motif. Mariana Simois of the German Senckenberg Institute of Entomology in Mönchberg, Brandenburg, has investigated the slow disappearance of this species of locust with her colleagues from Russia and China. The researchers see the reason for this in the massive change in land use, as reported in the journal “Biodiversity and Conservation.”
The large grasshopper up to 39 mm in size (Bryodemella tuberculata) is critically endangered in Germany according to the Red List of Threatened Species. The team evaluated a total of 651 records from travel, scientific collections, and literature. She also compared the population in Europe with that of Asia, where the population is quite stable. “We wanted to understand why this is and how we can help Europe’s nose survive,” said the entomologist.
Scientists have found that the traps prefer to live in sandy or rocky areas such as grasses or on the banks of pristine rivers. “However, this particular habitat does not exist anymore due to redesign and use by humans in Europe. Our data show that land use change is the critical factor for animal extinction.” Climate change is not to blame: despite rising temperatures, there are still many climate-friendly habitats for insects.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210802-99-665639 / 2
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