DENVER (CBS4) – Some children got a little dirty all in the name of science at the Denver Zoo this week.
The children served as citizen scientists by donning plastic gloves and digging into bison droppings.
They looked for dung beetles in the patties to see what role they provide for the grassland ecosystems in Colorado and other Western states.
“One question we have is — with the reintroduction of bison, are those same dung beetles species here and are they breaking down the dung at the same rate that they did back when there were 30 million bison,” said Erica Garroutte, the zoo’s conservancy outreach coordinator.
People interested in seeing bison herds near Denver can visit the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge or the bison overlook on Interstate 70 in the foothills at Genesee Park.