Britain’s largest grasshopper is being bred in captivity by citizen zookeepers and returned to marshes across East Anglia in a move to revive the endangered species. The large marsh grasshopper , an elusive green insect that can appear in a striking pink-and-yellow form, is too isolated in fragments of wetland to hop back to its former strongholds. So volunteers for Citizen Zoo , a social enterprise that promotes rewilding and community engagement, are releasing about 1,000 grasshoppers at two secret sites this summer. The project, which is licensed by Natural England, the government’s conservation agency, has already released 2,152 “hoppers” – mainly adults but a few still at nymph stage – into the countryside. The first wild offspring from the newly released grasshoppers emerged on a nature reserve managed by Norfolk Wildlife Trust last summer. Until the translocation began, the grasshopper only survived in the wild in Britain in wet flushes within the New Forest and at a few sites in Dorset and Somerset. The grasshoppers require heat and wind to disperse and even then the males – which call by making a discreet clicking sound – rarely travel more than 50 metres. “Because of habitat fragmentation and climate […]

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