Casey’s June Beetle – Surveying this elusive and imperiled species
Coachella Valley, California
On a Coachella Valley spring evening, if you are in the right place just as the twilight turns to night, you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a rare and endangered beetle in the lights, flying low over the ground in search of a mate. Casey’s June beetle (Dinacoma caseyii) is found nowhere else on earth, but on sandy soils that are found in Palm Canyon Wash in an area less than 800 acres in size.
This year, CNLM staff assisted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Living Desert led by Conservation Biologist Sarah Greeley, to conduct surveys for this endangered beetle for the third year in a row. The Living Desert conservation staff spearheaded this years’ surveys because of the loss USFWS wildlife biologist Chris Gregory. Chris and his wife, Noelle Ronin, were responsible for organizing and developing the protocol for these surveys. During the evening of Thursday, May 10, 2018, CNLM staff – Deborah Rogers and Ginny Short—assisted by Living Desert volunteer Kathy Craig, conducted surveys on the SmokeTree Ranch Preserve. CNLM was granted a conservation easement over this preserve in 2008 for the protection of Casey’s June beetle.