Organized into Doñana Biological Station (Natural Space of Doñana, Huelva, Spain) thanks to the support of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC in Spanish), the workshop gathered 12 experts from different Mediterranean countries and dealt with the conservation statute of dung beetles in the Mediterranean region.
Dung beetles play a remarkable role in the ecosystems. By burying and consuming dung, they improve nutrient recycling and soil structure, help reducing the amount of methane released into the atmosphere (one of the most potent of the heat-trapping greenhouse gases) and in some cases act as secondary seed dispersers. By removing the dung which, if left, could provide habitat for pests such as flies, they also contribute to parasite suppression.
Due to the high sensitivity of dung beetles to habitat modification and changing dung resources, many of these ecological processes have already been disrupted or may be affected in the future.
The IUCN Red List assessment workshop of Mediterranean dung beetles, a conservation initiative funded by MAVA foundation, seeks to review the conservation status of around 220 dung beetles species endemic to the Med.
This Regional Red List workshop is part of an important regional initiative to conduct comprehensive extinction risk assessments of the more than 2,500 species of invertebrates and plants that occur in the Mediterranean region (more info about the initiative HERE).
For further information, please contact : Catherine Numa