Perhaps not, but we are pretty excited to be working with North Dandalup Primary School students to breed Dung Beetles which will then be provided to landholders along the Serpentine River.

The North Dandalup students are doing some great projects to learn about the benefits of Dung Beetles, as well as Dung Beetle behaviour and ecology.  Our project is funding the students to build two massive beetle rearing boxes at the School.  The students will then trap, purchase and rear the beetles in the boxes, so that they can then be released at targeted properties adjacent to the Serpentine River.  Students will be collecting fresh dung twice a week to feed to the Beetles until they are released.

Dung Beetles are truly awesome.  They provide a broad and diverse range of benefits and our targeted properties are keen to be involved in the project for agricultural benefits, including reducing the risk of stable fly for their horses, and improving their pasture growth.  We are also excited about the benefits that the Beetles will bring in terms of water quality, complementing our other #SavingOurSerpy projects. 

When the Beetles dig their holes and take the dung down into the tunnels they are effectively putting fertiliser into aerated holes.   For every litre of dung that’s taken down, a litre of subsoil is brought to the surface. When the beetles have left after about three or four weeks, the earthworms move in and move down the tunnels, eating the dung and filling the tunnels with loosely packed earth worm casts thus replacing the need for fertiliser. It is an amazingly efficient system and will stop dung from being washed into our waterways.   

Dung beetles were introduced to Australia in the 1950’s when George Bornmissza of the Division of Entomology in Canberra convinced CSIRO it would be a good idea.  There are now more than 55 species in Australia.  The introduction of Dung Beetles is described as one of the greatest stories of Australian science because of its impact on sustainable agriculture. The PHCC hope to expand this project to other schools, so if you are interested please contact admin@peel-harvey.org.au

This project is supported by the PHCC through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program and the Alcoa Foundation’s Three Rivers, One Estuary Initiative

More information on Dung Beetles see:

https://www.dungbeetlessouthwest.org.au/

https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/land-use/control-bush-flies-dung-beetles

We acknowledge the Noongar people as Traditional Custodians of this land and pay our respects to all Elders past and present