About Them: These are burrowing beetles that only come to the surface for breeding between March and June. Males fly while females stay on the ground releasing a pheromone to attract the males. After the encounter the females go back under ground. They live in a very specific location of California, the Coachella Valley just below the Santa Rosa Mountains because the soil is perfect for them. Given their limited population and time above ground not a lot is known about them.
Their plight: The Coachella Valley is in Palm Springs a town that has become a luxury destination and narrow enough that urban sprawl has taken over all of it. These Beetles sadly don’t live on the side that holds Joshua Tree National Park which, I’m sure it why locals would feel frustrated to need to leave any other land of the limited amount they have in the valley for a Beetle. As long as land is protected these Beetles seem to persist, but by the time they got onto the Endangered Species List a very limited amount of acres were left to set aside as critical habitat.
What we should consider: Even beetle’s matter. Generally when you get to a species late like this the land left is near or is somehow more impactful to lower class people. Then the burden of limited land use falls to people with life limits of their own. One of the locations where the Beetles reside is near a mobile home park that is looking for flood relief with a drain pipe being put it. This project is basically stalled because of the Beetle. Is there another pathway to getting needed land for a species survival once we have built up residential and recreational areas? How do you encourage land owners to want to make their land habitable for endangered species? Is it possible in tightly packed residential areas? Native gardens are on the rise would that be enough? Can you make native plant centric golf courses?
What is being done: The Casey’s June Beetle was put on the Endangered Species List in 2011 which allowed Fish and Wildlife to formally allocate land to be saved as critical habitat for the beetle. Now yearly surveys and more research are being done to see what else can help this species recover.
How to help: When you visit a place like Palm Springs, visit the nearest Wildlife Refuge or Preserve and donate a little cash. This is a vote, a check mark saying, people care and it is economical and wanted to save native species.
Continue bringing awareness. Call into state senators when legislation is being passed that could affect the continued support of policy that protects wildlife and waterways. Support locally.
Support can be:
- donating to science groups
- helping to ensure funding to the organizations that creating breeding programs
- being a citizen scientist through
- land restoration project
- trash clean ups
- species counts
- bio blitzes
- getting people you know excited about how incredible our planet’s biodiversity is.
Joining your local Audubon Society or other local conservation group is a great first step into finding activities and ways to become a citizen scientist and environmental advocate.
Further Reading, my sources:
http://bio227-9.blogspot.com/2015/03/caseys-june-beetle-oscar-rodriguez.html (photo is of a similar beetle)
[This is a blog of my opinions. I speak for myself. I am a one person team and if I have misinterpreted a fact or made an error please feel free to get in touch to correct me. I will make edits and updates to post. I would appreciate corrections to be polite. I will not engage in hate.]