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The Provence Stone Grasshopper (Prionotropis azami), is listed as Endangered on the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) red list of endangered species. It owes its French name ("cricket hérisson" meaning "hedgehog cricket") to the numerous small protrusions, known as spinules, on its shins and back. This grasshopper lives only in the Alpes-Maritimes and the Var, essentially on medium-altitude limestone plateaus.
Inspired by the species' Latin name, azami, the Marineland association has created the Azami mission! Drawing on its experience in various conservation programs, the association has put its skills and human and material resources at the service of this species. The conservation of species and their environment begins with the acquisition of knowledge. In order to protect it, we first need to know more about this grasshopper, which until now has been very poorly documented.
After two field trips in conjunction with the Conservatoire d'Espaces Naturels de Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur, a team of volunteers from the Marineland Association conducted an in-depth study in 2021 with one trip per week during the entire cricket season, i.e. the period from June to August. This programme was renewed in 2022, with field trips during the summer of 2022 and 2023.
The objective of this "Azami" mission is to collect data on the ecology and physiology of the species; the results will enrich the data already collected by local partners, for a better understanding of these populations.