Dealing to Manure

New Zealand has approved the release of 11 Australian species to manage a massive heap of livestock dung. Manure accounts for around 14 per cent of New Zealand’s emissions of nitrous oxide, a powerful greenhouse gas. Beetles can make short work of these problems. Adult dung beetles lay their eggs in manure, which the brood feed on after hatching and break down into sawdust. An inhabited mound of dung can disappear in 48 hours, compared to a month for one that is left out in a field. Neither Australia nor New Zealand have native beetles that can handle livestock dung pats. But in the late 196s, Australia introduced some from Europe and Africa. “They’ve been hugely successful,” Shaun Forgie of Landcare Research said.

Tags: dung beetles  emissions  New Scientist