In the South
Two and a half years ago, we were thrilled to report that, finally, after years of preparation, dung beetles from Australia were heading to New Zealand.
Our hopes were high that the little bug, which searches out animal faeces then drags it away to be buried, could have a majorly positive impact on our environment by cleaning up our pastures.
Back then, we told everyone who would listen that this could be big! Especially considering that animal dung covers an estimated 700,000ha of pastoral land in New Zealand. And, we're super excited once again to see that the project has reached another major milestone. After a long wait in containment, where they've been subject to trials and mass rearing, 500 beetles were released onto Robin and Lois Greer's organic dairy farm near Gore last week.
Notable beetle benefits include improved soil health and reduced runoff, reduced greenhouse gases, better pasture productivity (as stock will not graze around dung pats), enhanced grass growth, and reduced fly pests, human disease and infection by parasitic worms.
The group that's responsible for the progress is called the Dung Beetle Release Strategy Group, and project manager Andrew Barber says the release is an extremely exciting step in improving New Zealand's agricultural performance, that would mean more production at a lower environmental cost.
"I foresee a time when our grandchildren will not believe that paddocks were once covered with dung."
For more information visit the group's website.
For more waste information, contact your local council or environment centre. To join Wastebusters, email email@example.com
- © Fairfax NZ News