Dung beetle assemblage in a protected area of Belize: A study on the consequence of forest fragmentation and isolation
Thomas Latha, Po-Yen Huang, Grimar Abdiel Perez, Ishmael Orlando Paquiul
Belize is the only Central American country with over 60% forest cover. But recent studies revealed that Belize’s forest cover is declining rapidly. Though majority of the forest clearance occurred outside the protected areas, such deforestation activities can cause fragmentation and isolation of forests. Dung beetles are predominantly coprophagous insects that provide important ecological services and are widely used as biological indicators to study the effects of habitat disturbance including fragmentation and isolation. Dung beetle abundance, species richness, beetle size and guild structure was studied in Guanacaste National Park of Belize which is an isolated forest fragment surrounded by anthropogenic habitats. Dung beetles were collected using baited pit fall traps in the months of February, May and August, 2010. A total of 169 beetles belonging to 9 genera and 15 species were collected from the national park. Low abundance, low species richness, dominance of small species and dominance of the generalist species C. cyanellus cyanellus indicates that the dung beetle community was adversely affected by fragmentation and isolation.
Thomas Latha, Po-Yen Huang, Grimar Abdiel Perez, Ishmael Orlando Paquiul. Dung beetle assemblage in a protected area of Belize: A study on the consequence of forest fragmentation and isolation. J Entomol Zool Stud 2016;4(1):457-463.