Dung beetles need some TLC

25 Jun, 2003 10:00 PM
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DUNG beetles from the WA west coastal strip were relocated to farms in the Albany-Mt Barker region last week.

Albany region territory sales manager for Fort Dodge Australia Colin Andrews spread large numbers of Bubas Bison, a winter active beetle.

He was also spreading the message to farmers that the active constituents of many parasiticides might have a harmful effect on existing dung beetle populations.

"I'm asking farmers, particularly cattlemen, to choose to use an appropriate parasiticide for the cattle," Mr Andrews, a graduate in Agricultural science, said this week.

The active constituents of the parasiticide are printed on the container label. When choosing a parasiticide the farmer is advised to:

p Identify the parasites he wants to control or eradicate

p Identify the active constituents and be aware of the side effects of the chemical constituents on dung beetles and their population.

He recommended beef producers reduce the impact of the constituents by following the recommendations printed in the AgForce leaflet "Strategic use of parasiticides can help your dung beetles².

Mr Andrews said dung beetle survival would vary depending on farmers knowledge of the level of toxicity of many chemicals they may use on their properties.

He said leaflets were available which helped cattle producers select the parasiticide that was low risk to dung beetles.

p More information: Colin Andrews mobile 0427 004 611 or fax 9841 4412.

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