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Improving reproduction in captivity and starting a reintroduction programme

Cooperation with two zoological gardens will increase the number of ex situ breeding stations. The creation of a second in situ station in the Crau will improve the in situ breeding capacity to increase the number of individuals.

Reintroduction – necessary to save Prionotropis rhodanica from extinction – will be carried out on two or three sites with individuals from the rearing.

Combining in-situ and ex-situ breeding

We have not yet succeeded in carrying out the full development cycle outside the Crau, where the climate and soil conditions are so particular. That is why we have been using a combination of ex-situ and in-situ breeding since 2018. We capture young grasshoppers in the spring, breed them to the adult stage who will lay their eggs outside the Crau, safe from predation and other dangers.

The egg pods are then transferred to the Crau and embedded about 1 cm into the ground in two aviaries to protect them from predators, e.g. birds and rodents. From the end of the summer until the hatching of the juveniles next April, the egg pods are regularly controlled by the CEN PACA team. A label indicates the place where the egg pod is placed in the ground. After heavy rains, they may come to the surface and have to be re-embedded. Unfortunately, egg pods are also predated by other arthropodes, resulting in losses during the season.

Cycle d’élevage in situ et ex situ du Criquet de Crau © CEN PACA