22 Jun 2018

Could dung beetles save our waterways?

From Country Life, 9:16 pm on 22 June 2018

Dr Shaun Fogie's farm is only 3.3 hectares, but his livestock are a bit smaller than conventional farm animals.

Fogie farms thousands of dung beetles – and sells them to farmers and local councils.

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Photo: RNZ/Susan Murray

He says they're a natural and efficient way to to get nutrients down into the soil and could help rehabilitate New Zealand’s waterways.

Dung beetles improve soil structure and keep pastures clean, which helps mitigate runoff into streams during high-rainfall events.

Fogie's dung beetles originally come from south-west Europe and southern Africa and reproduce rapidly, he says.

Watch dung beetles in action on a Ruapuke farm here.

Extreme close-up of a dung beetle

Extreme close-up of a dung beetle Photo: 123RF