Help endangered stag beetles this summer

Help endangered stag beetles this summer
Credit: Peter Jones

The endangered stag beetle, the largest land beetle in Britain, needs your help and creating log piles and recording sightings are just two ways to make a difference.

Wildlife charity People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) has been recording stag beetle sightings for two decades.

Now, PTES is calling for anyone who lives in a known stag beetle area to carry out a more in-depth survey as part of an ongoing study – the European Stag Beetle Monitoring Network – to build on the 21 years of records PTES has already collected for this species.

All volunteers need to do is walk 500 meters, on six occasions between June and July on warm, summer evenings, recording any stag beetles they see.

Families, individuals, or groups of friends can all help – whether you’re on your evening dog walk or walking to your local pub. Simple, right? You can find out more here.

The European Stag Beetle Monitoring Network is co-funded by PTES and was set up by the Research Institute for Nature and Forest in 2008. It comprises partner institutes and universities from 14 European countries including the UK, Spain, France and Germany.

The network aims to assess population levels across Europe, monitoring the stag beetle’s full range.

To combat this habitat loss, PTES is also keen for those with gardens to help by making simple, stag beetle friendly changes, making gardens across the UK stag beetle havens.

These actions could include:

Building a log pile

All you need is an outdoor space, some wood and PTES’ free instruction sheet – which you can download from here.

Leave dead wood

If you have old tree stumps or deadwood in your garden, leave them alone if you can, as these are ideal habitats for stag beetles.

Protect them from dangers

Stag beetles like warm surfaces, such as tarmac roads and pavements, which make them vulnerable to being squashed by humans and vehicles. So be wary where you walk and look out for magpies and cats, who can also predate on stag beetles.

If you find a stag beetle

It’s usually best to leave them alone. If you dig up stag beetle larvae whilst gardening, return it to where you found it and replace the soil and rotting wood.

Record your sightings

If you are lucky enough to see a stag beetle, please record your sighting (with a photo, if possible) via the Great Stag Hunt.