Extending the areas of favourable habitat
The Bouches-du-Rhône Chamber of Agriculture and the Conservatoire d’espaces naturels de Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur will coordinate the following five actions:
Characterisation of the vegetation and analysis of changes in habitat conditions
Vegetation studies will be carried out on the sites of the three sub-populations and on the potential reintroduction sites in order to better understand the habitat requirements of the Crau Plain Grasshopper.
Remote sensing specialists will analyse habitat parameters between the 1980s and 2020. Grazing history, population trends of insectivorous species and data on P. rhodanica will be included.
The evolution of breeding practices, current grazing periods, the size of sheep flocks and grazing pressure will be analysed on five or six sites, based on existing data from the Bouches-du-Rhône Chamber of Agriculture, field work and interviews with local stakeholders. Management actions will be defined.
Adaptive grazing management
Implementation of the measures defined in the grazing plans (above) with local stakeholders. Example: zoning and adaptation of grazing periods, improvement of guarding and the presence of shepherds, improvement of working conditions including shepherds’ accommodation (Peau de Meau and Calissane); extension of grazing areas by reopening overgrown areas (Calissane); adaptation of management on the reintroduction sites (e. g. mosaic grazing).
Monitoring the impact of grazing and vegetation
Throughout the project, the Bouches-du-Rhône Chamber of Agriculture will monitor the impact of grazing and vegetation. This monitoring will make it possible to assess the impact of management on the remaining sub-populations and the reintroduction sites, and to adapt grazing management if necessary.
Socio-economic impact assessment
Grazing and transhumant pastoralism are key factors in the management of the coussouls; a socio-economic and environmental impact assessment will evaluate the results of the project taking into account ecosystem services.