Magnificent Stag Beetles…

Wednesday 25th May 2022

…guest blog from Laura Bower, Conservation Officer for People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES)

Sadly, the incredible Stag Beetle is threatened across Europe.  PTES has been working to save Stag Beetles for nearly 25 years. We have funded research, collected records through our Great Stag Hunt survey and more recently we have joined the European Stag Beetle Monitoring Network.

Male Stag Beetle © Peter Garwood

What is the European Stag Beetle Monitoring Network?

The European Stag Beetle Monitoring Network is a network of Non-Government Organisations (NGO’s), universities, and individuals from 14 countries who are working together to monitor Stag Beetles and promote their conservation.

Why should I get involved?

One-off records of Stag Beetles are great – they help us find out where Stag Beetles are and if the range is stable or changing, but it doesn’t tell us anything about population sizes and whether their numbers are going up or down. We really need people to go the extra mile and count Stag Beetles weekly so that over a period of some years this data can be analysed and compared over time and between countries.

How does the survey work?

After signing up at you select a suitable walk of 500m in length. This can be in your street, in a park, or along a footpath, it just needs to be in an area that you know Stag Beetles have been seen before. Then, starting 15 minutes before sunset, (you can easily find this on any weather app) walk it very slowly (taking approximately 30 minutes) once a week on a dry day when the weather is above 12 degrees and not too windy. While you walk look out for Stag Beetles and record any you see.

Stag Beetle larvae © Carolin Gohler

Can I do the count in my garden?

Actually, yes you can. We are looking for people to try a new method which involves doing the weekly survey standing still at a fixed point instead of on a 500m walk.

Sounds a bit complicated to me….

It is quite a simple survey, which takes just 30 minutes per week (a minimum of 6 times during June and July) and is only carried out in nice weather. All the instructions are on the website and Laura Bower, Conservation Officer for PTES is on hand to answer any queries you may have about the method, the website or where to place your transect.

So please sign up to help Stag Beetles and be part of the Monitoring Network.