Bringing science and development together through news and analysis

  • Declining dung beetles could affect ecosystem

Shares

Scientists are growing increasingly concerned that a declining population of dung beetles could spell trouble for the ecosystems of which they form an important part.

Dung beetles collect animal faeces and bury them, enriching the soil and helping plants to regenerate. But a study published in Science this week shows that in the forests of eastern Venezuela, dung beetles are disappearing.

The larger species, and those best at burying dung, have been the first to go. Alarmingly, related species did not become more abundant as a result. The authors of the study are concerned that the loss of even one or two species may have a greater impact than previously thought on ecosystems.

Link to full article in Science

Reference: Science 305, 1230 (2004)

Republish
We encourage you to republish this article online and in print, it’s free under our creative commons attribution license, but please follow some simple guidelines:
  1. You have to credit our authors.
  2. You have to credit SciDev.Net — where possible include our logo with a link back to the original article.
  3. You can simply run the first few lines of the article and then add: “Read the full article on SciDev.Net” containing a link back to the original article.
  4. If you want to also take images published in this story you will need to confirm with the original source if you're licensed to use them.
  5. The easiest way to get the article on your site is to embed the code below.
For more information view our media page and republishing guidelines.