the power of dung beetles in soil health management.

South Coast NRM’s Sustainable Agricultural Facilitator (SAF), Victoria Bennett, thoroughly enjoyed supporting and chatting amongst landholders at the Oyster Harbour Catchment Group Inc. “Dung Beetle Basics – Build your herd!” workshop last Friday.

A few facts Victoria learnt about dung beetles and current projects include –

  • The role dung beetles play in improving soils, pastures, and livestock health by incorporating nutrients from the dung down to the microbes to be turned into available sources for plants, tunnelling, which helps aerate the soil improving water infiltration and allows the plant roots to penetrate deeper, and harnessing carbon.
  • Through their work, nutrients from the manure are deposited underground to reduce nutrient runoff and out of our precious waterways.
  • Did you know crows, ibis and foxes find dung beetles tasty and eat them!
  • Dung beetles can struggle to fly past extensive passages of natural vegetation so topography can reduce incidence of dung beetles in some areas if dung beetles have not been introduced.
  • Parasite control in livestock can impact the dung beetle’s survival.
  • Current focus is on supporting new species for year-round actively working dung beetles – through the releasing of new spring and winter species on farmland that suit our regions’ climate.