Dung beetle key launched

The first dung beetle identification key for Guyana has been developed by the Guyana Conservation Network. The key is based on surveys from the Iwokrama Forest, but will continue to be updated following further surveys. The key is freely available on the GuyCoN.org website, and has been developed to assist conservation practitioners in Guyana.

Dung beetles serve as an excellent indicator taxa for assessing environmental integrity and changes to habitats following disturbance. They are diverse and taxonomically well characterised, with inexpensive and simple sampling methods. They also provide ecosystem services important to forest dynamics such as decomposition, secondary seed dispersal, nutrient cycling and parasite control, and they have been shown to be reliable indicators of tropical forest disturbance. They are also often considered a proxy for the wildlife communities (primarily large mammals) that provide the faeces upon which they feed, making their value as indicators disproportionally high.