Dung Bettle Sessions

This event has ended

The sessions will be held across the region between the 16th – 19th October

16th Mareeba – Wetherby Station/Sunnymount St.

17th Mount Garnet – Pinnarendi St.

18th Georgetown – Town Hall

19th Tablelands – Venu TBA

There are limited spots available in each session so please contact Kathy Rowling to secure your spot.

M: 0439 966 936. E: dsa@northerngulf.com.au

About the presenter: John Feehan, OA

From 1963 to 1991, John Feehanspent 28 years working on the CSIRO dung beetle program introducing dung beetles into Australia. After the program finished John set up SOILCAM Pty Ltd in 1993 to enable harvesting and redistribution of different dung beetle species according to their climatic and geographic limits in Australia, John Feehanis truly recognised as a world leading expert in his field having 5 insects named after him an Order of Australia for his work within the livestock industry and in 2011  reaching the final 14 in the highly prestigious Australian of the Year award. In the past 25 years, John has travelled the continent attending farm field days, museums, land care events, water catchment conferences and schools promoting the environmental and soil fertility benefits dung beetles produce in Australia.

He has had articles accepted for publication in Australia and overseas and he has been invited to appear on  Burkes Backyard and on ABC’s “Landline” twiceas an expert on dung beetles. His audience includes speaking engagements in New Zealand, the British Natural History Museum, five universities within the United States as well as the US Environmental Protection Agency in Washington DC and at the Veterinarians and Beef Producers Conference in Phoenix in 2004.

John has lodged more than 1000 specimens of dung beetles in the Australian National Insect Collection (ANIC) at CSIRO for future reference. Recently John has been integral in persuading our federal government to import several more dung beetle species into Australia to add to the 24 species we have now.


Did you know just some of the many incredible things Dung Beetles do include:

  • Aerate the soil
  • Relocate nitrogen and phosphorous in the dung to the grass root zone
  • Deepens top soil by slowly cultivating and turning it over to a depth of 300mm, encouraging microbial activity
  • Increases rain water penetration and improves ground water retention
  • Allows more nutrients and chemicals from herbicides and pesticides to penetrate tunnels resulting in minimising unwanted run off
  • Enables the locked up phosphate of many Australian soils to be made more available for plant utilisation via the tunnelling system
  • USA research revealed 80% of the nitrogen in dung when left on the pastures is lost to the atmosphere while dung that is well buried retains 80% of the nitrogen at the grass root zone.
  • Reduces internal parasite and fly burdens by decimating their breeding sites through rapid dung burial