By South Gippsland Landcare Network

FOLLOWING the success of our dung beetle field day, we were keen to increase the number and diversity of dung beetle species in our area.

We have linked in with Bass Coast Landcare Network, with each network setting up two dung beetle nurseries to try our hand at beetle breeding.

The first nurseries were established in April with Bubus bison, a winter-active species.

The second nurseries were set up in September with Onthophagus vacca, a spring-active species that is relatively new to Australia.

The South Gippsland Landcare Network nurseries are located at the

Fish Creek Community Farm, and are being fed and looked after by committed volunteers.

We have also established a small on-farm trial using shade-cloth to contain the beetles, and if this goes well, we may use this method for future farm releases.

If the nurseries are a success, we hope to harvest beetles from them in the years to come, and to work with local farmers to help establish these species throughout the network.

We’ll also be holding a field day in Fish Creek next year to allow everyone to come and learn more about beetle nurseries and how they can get involved.

This project is supported by West Gippsland CMA, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.