Mulligan Flat - Goorooyarroo Woodland Experiment Logo

 

 

Carrion Beetle

Carrion Beetle
Creophilus erythrocephalus
(F. Staphylinidae)
Photo: Philip Barton

 

 

 

 

 

Carrion Beetle

Carrion Beetle
Onthophagus sp.
(F. Scarabaeidae)
Photo: Philip Barton

 

 

 

 

 

Carrion Beetle

Carrion Beetle
Omorgus sp.
(F. Trogiadae)

Photo: Philip Barton

 

 

 

 

 

Carrion Beetle

Carrion Beetle
Ptomaphila lacrymosa
(F. Silphidae)
Photo: Philip Barton

 

 

 

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Carrion Research

 

Carrion is an important part of ecosystems, and provides a resource for many species involved in the decomposition process and the recycling of nutrients.

Kangaroos are an important source of carrion in Box-Gum grassy woodlands around the ACT, and in ecosystems elsewhere in Australia. Wide fluctuations in populations of kangaroos can lead to changes in carrion input.

Research Project Details

The decomposition of kangaroo carcasses was monitored over a 12-month period in Mulligans Flat Sanctuary. Each carcass was paired with a nearby control site for comparison.
Several variables were regularly measured at carcass and control sites over the 12 months, including:

The data collected can be analysed to see what things happen at carcasses compared with control sites, and how this changes over time.

Results

The results have shown that carrion is a ‘hotspot’ for invertebrate diversity and abundance, as well as for nutrient cycling. For example:

Further research is being conducted on changes in soil chemistry, and associations between beetles and phoretic mites at carcasses.

Carrion Decomposition

Decomposition of a kangaroo carcess over time

 

Publications

Mulligans Flat Goorooyarroo Woodland Experiment Contact Details