New Dung Beetles come to Tassie Farms

Introducing dung beetles to bury cattle and horse manure has been a big success in Australia!

Burying all that dung has brought down fly numbers, made the soil more fertile, reduced cattle and horse parasites that breed in dung, allowed the rain soak into pasture better, and brought down the amount of dung that pollutes our streams and rivers. All adding to farm productivity and ecosystem health.

Each different type dung beetle is only active for a few months of the year. At the moment we have dung beetle gaps: places and times of the year where there are no active dung beetles.

A group of organisations are currently working together nationally to introduce more dung beetles to fill those gaps.

Down our end of the country, Landcare Tasmania has been supporting a local school to learn to breed dung beetles to be part of this project.

Clarendon Vale Primary School Dung Beetle Project coordinator Andrew Doube says

“For kids who love hands-on activities, the project has been a wonderful thing! And we’re learning completely new things too. It’s looking like the beetle
we have been breeding, Bubas bison, has a two year life cycle in Hobart conditions. That's something no one knew before we tried.

Over the next couple of years, we hope to use the experience we’ve gained to be part of the breeding and introduction of Onthophagus vacca. Vacca is a beetle that's active in spring, and would fill one of our biggest Tassie dung beetle gaps.”

So look out over the next few years for a chance to get some of those new spring active beetles on your farm!

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Read the article about it published in The Weekly Times