Dung beetles are member of subfamily Scarabaeinae (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) which have important functions in many different ecosystems, especially in tropical savannas and forests (Hanski and Cambefort 1991e). Dung beetles are involved in the ecological functions of parasite suppression, secondary seed dispersal, nutrient cycling and bioturbation (Andresen 2001,2003; Losey and Vaughan 2006; Nichols et al. 2008; Shepherd and Chapman 1998; Stokstad 2004; Waterhouse 1974). Furthermore, dung beetles may also function as pollinators (Ratcliff e 1970). Suaka Elang; Raptor Education Center (Resort Salak I, Mount Halimun-Salak NP) is part of Mount Halimun-Salak National Park which has a fairly large beetles diversity, however, not much is known about diversity of the dung beetles in this area.
Our survey conducted at several places around Suaka Elang areas, this survey focused on dung beetles diversity in Suaka Elang areas. To collected data about dung beetles diversity we installing a trap in three different locations (land cover), i.e. pine forest, natural forest and open area. We put 6 traps at each location and using human dung to attract dung beetles, in every location we do three times repetition. During our survey we found 12 different types of dung beetle from three genera i.e. Onthophagus, Catharsius and Copris, based on the morfhological differences. From all kinds of dung beetles that we found, we just managed to identify 7 types of dung beetles i.e. Onthophagus gazella, O. furcatus, O. taurus, O. semifex, O. similis, Catharsius molossus and Copris sinicus. We will keep trying to do identification and discussion about dung beetles species that we found during survey. Pine forest is the location of most finding dung beetles, both in the types and numbers.
Dung beetle is one kind of insect that gets less attention and most of people have a negative perception about this people, because it is associated with dung. Dung beetles has important role for ecosystem, this fact was not widely known. We keep trying to introduce dung beetles and their important role, we believe that public awarness is very important to support dung beetles conservation.
Project 13056067 location - Indonesia, Asia