Keyacris scurra

4 Key's Matchstick Grasshopper at Hall, ACT

Keyacris scurra at Hall, ACT - 30 Mar 2024
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Identification history

Keyacris scurra 30 Mar 2024 trevorpreston
Keyacris scurra 30 Mar 2024 Anna123

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Significant sighting

MichaelMulvaney noted:

31 Mar 2024

Though known in the Hall area, this is a new location of this threatened grasshopper

User's notes

Site at the east side of Hall Village, known as Mrs Reynolds Paddock. Not sure whether they have been reported here before. Found at 3 locations, 10 + individuals. The site is scheduled for a prescribed burn in next 2 months!

7 comments

   31 Mar 2024
@RogerF I suspect that there would never be an ideal time to prescribe burn Keyacris habitat as eggs or adults/nymphs would always be present. Would we advise a particularly patchy slow burning burn? and would there be particular habitat features that you would try not to burn?
BethanyDunne wrote:
   31 Mar 2024
Thanks for the sighting @Anna123, a significant find. Can I contact you directly to talk about the locations across the site? I am directly involved with the burn planning. Cheers!
RogerF wrote:
   1 Apr 2024
This is a difficult issue. As Keyacris is flightless and with very little dispersal ability ( probaly in terms of only metres during an individuals life time), fire can easily wipe out local populations. as adults and nymphs are active all year round. The largest populations are present in autumn following the summer hatching and decline over winter into the following summer due to predation and other factors. Egg laying occurrs in mid summer but there is considerble overlap beween the parent generation and their offspring between December and January. January is probaly the safest period to do a burn with minimal impact on the population. The Hall populations are extremely significant and represent the link between the Kinleyside and CSIRO Farm populations and not formally protected in Nature Reserves. Keyacris has been extinguished from its once stronghold at Hall Cemetery by inapropriate mowing operations. It has disappeared from many of its former sites in the ACT as a result of overgrazing by kangaroos as well as excessive biomass production of grasses in others. It appears to survive best in nutrient-poor sites in open grassy box woodland with elevated plant diversity and low cover. I recommend that its known sites at Hall be excluded from any controlled burns and that some extra surveys for its presence are conducted in sites subject to burn programs. Roger Farrow, Keyacris survey volunteer for the ACT with ACT Conservation Research.
   1 Apr 2024
Thanks Roger - plenty for you to consider Bethany - a tricky and important one
Anna123 wrote:
   1 Apr 2024
Thanks Roger, Michael, Bethany - Christian and I were out again this morning. More sites in MRP and now also in Horse Paddock 3. We will put together a map of where we have seen them in the past week around Hall and append it to this sighting.
BethanyDunne wrote:
   1 Apr 2024
That's OK @Anna123 I'll send you my email and you can send it through. Probably best not to have a map up available.
RogerF wrote:
   1 Apr 2024
Can you also send me the map please. r.farrow@iimetro.com.au

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