10 Aug 2019

Tara Murray - Protecting our native grasshoppers

From Saturday Morning, 11:40 am on 10 August 2019
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Photo: supplied

Entomologist and conservationist Tara Murray from Canterbury University describes robust grasshoppers as being "a bit like the Kakapo of the insect world - large, flightless, smelly and reliant on camouflage to avoid their natural avian predators which makes them easy prey for mammals".

So it makes sense for her to apply bird conservation principles to help to save the nationally threatened native insect.

In the Mackenzie Basin a predator proof fence has been set up to protect a 200m long section of gravel road where the most intensively studied population of the robust grasshopper has taken up residence.

Tara talked to Kim about why we need to protect our native grasshoppers and how she and her team do it, including teaching her PhD students the "grasshopper walk".