Friends of Grasslands
supporting native grassy ecosystems
PO Box 440
Macquarie ACT 2614
NSW Threatened Species Scientific Committee
PO Box 1967
Hurstville BC 1481
Dear Ms Chate
Preliminary Determination to list Key’s Matchstick Grasshopper Keyacris scurra
Friends of Grasslands (FOG) is a community group dedicated to the conservation of natural temperate grassy ecosystems in south-eastern Australia. FOG advocates, educates and advises on matters to do with the conservation of grassy ecosystems, and carries out surveys and other on-ground work. FOG is based in Canberra and its members include professional scientists, landowners, land managers and interested members of the public.
FOG supports the nomination and considers that the evidence given in documentation accompanying the Preliminary Determination more than supports the recommendation. Dr Roger Farrow and Alison Rowell, quoted in the documentation, are members of Friends of Grasslands.
In support the statements about the serious decline in the species:
- We have reviewed the records of the grasshopper in Canberra Nature Map which covers the ACT and also significant parts of NSW. There are 46 records, but these are essentially very old records, and there is only one recent record. That record is at Mulligan’s Flat where there is a healthy population.
- FOG member, Rainer Rehwinkel, working with the NSW environment departments (NPWS, DECC, OEH, etc.) in surveys over a 20 year period in grasslands and grassy woodlands in south east NSW, found populations of this species at less than 10 sites, during c. 7500 site visits during that time. Those data are in the Grassy Ecosystems Database (GEDB), which is lodged in NSW Bionet and the Atlas of Living Australia.
- Alison Rowell agrees that local sightings are rare now compared to the 1990s. She states “I’m pleased that they have reappeared in grazing-controlled areas at Mulligans because I recorded them in dense Themeda there in the late 90s (a while after the stock came off) and hadn’t seen them since increasing kangaroo grazing changed the grassland structure and composition”.
Dr Roger Farrow, whom we have consulted, will put in a separate submission.
In summary, FOG supports the listing of the grasshopper as it is likely that the listing will lead to further investigation and on-ground work that may lead to a greater understanding of this species and initiate activity to protect its habitat and recovery. It will also provide another lens through which to observe critically endangered NTG.
8 June 2019