Scientists to monitor if endangered beetles can live on own

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EL DORADO SPRINGS, Mo. – Scientists are preparing to end a seven-year program that has reintroduced the first federally endangered species to Missouri because the beetles are showing signs they could survive on their own.

The St. Louis Zoo has been working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Missouri Department of Conservation and the Nature Conservancy to restore American burying beetles in Missouri since 2012. The program has released more than 2,800 American burying beetles in the soil at Wah’Kon-Tah Prairie near El Dorado Springs.

Merz tells the Joplin Globe that the program has seen “positive trends that indicate it is time to see how the beetles are doing on their own.”

Merz says they’ll continue to monitor the species, but that the beetles will have to find their own food sources.

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