There are over 7000 species of dung-friendly beetles world-wide. You’ll find these hard-working, harmless little creatures on every continent but Antarctica. Over millions of years, they have become specialists on farmland, forest, grassland and even desert habitats. This specialist behavior allows us to select the beetles most suitable for farmland rehabilitation. There are three broad groups of Dung Beetle according to their lifestyle.
New Zealand does have endemic (native) dung beetle populations – 15 species in all. They are also highly specialized, but primarily for forest living.
Unfortunately, because modern farming was only introduced about 150 years ago, our local beetles have not evolved to process the dung of domesticated livestock, nor for living on grassy pastures so Linnburn has been acquiring its beetles from Dung Beetle Innovations.
In essence livestock were brought to New Zealand but the dung beetles that tunnel their dung into the depth of the soil profile were not so Linnburn and NZ is playing catch up.