Kakadu’s grasshopper population healthy

Parks Australia

Leichhardts grasshopper Alyurr (Leichhardts grasshopper)

Alyurr (Leichhardts grasshopper) The alyurr population have been monitored since January 2003 as fires can have a damaging effect on them.

One of Kakadu’s iconic species – the brightly-coloured Leichhardts grasshopper is showing healthy populations across a number of survey sites. In 2012 a large, hot bushfire occurred and we expected to see less alyurr the following year. However, in January 2014 there was a huge increase in numbers at one of the regularly surveyed sites – from 13 to 800 individuals.

Such a rapid increase has never been recorded in Kakadu so this is a really interesting occurrence. As there weren’t enough females to have laid that many eggs, it suggests that, unlike most tropical grasshoppers, alyurr eggs may be viable for more than one year. This is exciting news because it means the population may have a better chance of survival in the case of an uncontrolled fire or…

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