The DBEE project is the fourth effort to introduce new species and strains of dung beetles to Australia.
Download an overview of the history of dung beetles in Australia (before the DBEE project), or scroll down to view a timeline of events.

Dung beetles in Australia (pre-DBEE project)




Introduced dung beetles in Australia

  • In 2018, the Dung Beetle Ecosystem Engineers RRDFP project commenced and will conclude in 2022. The project aims to improve soil in grazing systems, reduce the spread of flies, pests and diseases, increase pasture health and reduce nutrient runoff into waterways through the introduction…

    CSU dung beetle mass rearing
  • The project Field Establishment of Dung Beetles in South Australia was reported, focusing on the imported species Onthophagus vacca and Bubas bubalus. These beetles are being used in current work.

    O vacca dung beetle
  • The imported species Onthophagus vacca and Bubas bubalus were reared by CSIRO. A small number were released to high-care field nurseries in Spring 2014.

    O vacca dung beetle
  • Onthophagus vacca and Bubas bubalus, two spring-active dung beetle species, were imported from Europe as part of an MLA-CSIRO project to fill a gap in dung beetle activity in early spring across South Australia. This led to the establishment of commercial breeding programs.…

    O vacca dung beetle
  • The project Dung Beetles and Internal Parasites of Sheep ran to investigate the impact of dung beetles on controlling Haemonchus contortus (Barber’s poll worm) in sheep, concluding that dung beetles reduced the number of larvae produced in proportion to the total amount of…

    Sheep - dung beetles
  • The MLA study The Pasture Growth and Environmental Benefits of Dung Beetles to the Southern Australian Cattle Industry was the first study of its kind in Australia, investigating the relationship between the role of dung beetles and their effect on pasture growth and soil fertility…

    pasture growth - dung beetles
  • The Dung Beetle Survey of South-East Queensland was conducted in the hope of determining which species of dung beetle, imported and native, that were located in the region. The survey attempted to quantify the impact of the beetle population on buffalo-fly control.

    13 species of…

    Cow with flies - dung beetles
  • CSIRO imported four species of dung beetle from Spain for bush-fly control in Western Australia. Of the few beetles that were released to the field, none successfully established.

    Cow with flies - dung beetles
  • Dung Down Under (1972)
    Source: CSIRO

    Dung Down Under (1972)
  • More than 50 species were introduced by CSIRO. The primary aim of the introduction was to reduce the bush-fly population. Of the 50, 43 were released to the field and 23 became established.

    George F. Bornemissza – Dung Beetle Guru

    The importation of dung beetles into Australia…

    George F. Bornemissza – Dung Beetle Guru