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Fencing erected to protectNye County’s rare dune beetles

Bureau of Land Management officials are placing protective buck-and-rail fencing on the north side of Big Dune to protect the densest population of Giuliani’s Dune Scarab. Giuliani’s Dune Scarab beetle occur at Big Dune and Lava Dune in the Amargosa Valley and nowhere else in the world.

The fence aims to help protect the habitat of the endemic Nye County beetle, BLM officials say.

“This beetle is rare, and the fencing is to protect the population while still leaving the vast majority of the dune available to Off-Highway Vehicle activity,” said Joe Varner, Acting Pahrump Field Manager. “We are asking the public to continue recreating at the dune, but to please not use OHV vehicles within this fenced area.”

Visitors are still able to recreate on more than 95 percent of the dune, including the main dune system. The fence will help direct OHV vehicles away from driving on the smaller dunes that are critically important for the Giuliani’s Dune Scarab. The beetles live in these small dunes as larvae until they can pupate and come out as adults to breed, typically over a two-week period in April.

The fencing also will protect some of the plants the beetle feeds on throughout the year.

The BLM has placed 665 meters of wood buck-and-rail fencing and 397 meters of plastic tri-corner fencing at Big Dune. In the next couple of months, the BLM will place an additional 275 meters of wood buck-and-rail fencing and 400 meters of plastic tri-corner fencing at Big Dune. The project should be complete by February, BLM officials say.

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