In 2019, the group received funding through their annual Victorian Landcare Grant to establish a dung beetle monitoring program in our catchment. Belinda Pearce, our local dung beetle expert, ran two excellent workshops at the Greta-Hansonville Hall to discuss all things dung beetles:
- We covered the basic biology of dung beetles and why they are so important to agriculture.
- Our field session saw us getting dirty hands having a closer look at tunnel systems and piles of castings by Bubas bison, our winter beetle.
- We also learnt how to use our local ID key and the basics of monitoring dung beetles at your property – how and when to set the trap and submitting results.
We initially set up 15 sites in and around the Greta Valley Catchment and every month have asked our monitors to put out their trap and record their findings. Findings are entered into the North East Dung Beetle Project on the Atlas of Living Australia’s website and contribute to both State and Federal research.
It is important for us to establish an understanding of the seasonal movement on dung beetles on individual properties and across our catchment, so that we can identify gaps in activity and look to fill these gaps with other species. This is particularly relevant as the CSIRO and universities in Australia are currently working on projects to introduce new species to fill gaps in our seasonal availability of beetles. You can read more about this at Dung Beetle Ecosystem Engineers website.
We currently have vacancies for two more volunteer dung beetle monitors in our program. Please get in touch with Sally Day on 0437 136 162 if you are willing to assist us.