The Epirus Grasshopper, Chorthippus lacustris, is found only in Epirus, northwestern Greece. It was discovered and described in 1975, and although it has not yet been officially classified on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™, its listing is potentially ‘CRITICALLY ENDANGERED’.
The species has a restricted and fragmented distribution pattern. It is known from three lake areas: the Pamvotida Lake basin, Lake Paramythia, and Lake Morfo. It is strongly dependent on wet grasslands which flood on a seasonal basis. The greatest population density is recorded in the site with the greatest diversity of dominant plant species.
The Epirus Grasshopper is estimated to have lost 85–99% of its habitat during the last 50 years due to wetland drainage. The main threat is further habitat loss as a result of urbanization around Pamvotida Lake and land conversion to agriculture around Paramythia Lake, even though both sites belong to the Natura 2000 network. Restoring wet grasslands, protecting them from further urbanization and drainage, and population monitoring are the main measures proposed for the conservation of the Epirus Grasshopper.
Geographic Range of the Epirus Grasshopper
Credit: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™
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