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Male stag beetle in Italy. Picture by Nicola Destefano.
Male stag beetle in Italy. Picture by Nicola Destefano.

The European stag beetle (Lucanus cervus) fires one’s imagination. It is named after the jaws of the male beetle, that look like the antlers of a stag. It is also one of the biggest beetles in Europe, the males can become a stunning 9 cm long! The European stag beetle requires a specific habitat, mainly due to the ecology of the larvae, which feed on rotten wood below the ground.

This fascinating species is threatened. In order to protect the European stag beetle, we want to know more about the population size, distribution and trends. And that’s where citizen scientists come in: we need your help! Only with the help of volunteers we can follow up the population and habitat at individual sites. For more information, take a look at the volunteer page.

Our mission

The European Stag Beetle Monitoring Network aims to:

  • start up an international network of population monitoring transects that follows up the European stag beetle
  • enlarge and endure the monitoring network to cover the full range of the species
  • assess the red list status (extinction risk assessment) based on population monitoring data
  • communicate the findings of the monitoring and raise awareness about the threats this umbrella species is facing
  • this network will allow many other studies concerning its ecology and conservation techniques

Who can join? 

  • Location: All within the range of the European stag beetle
  • Project type: Fieldwork
  • Cost: Voluntarily, free
  • Grade level: All ages, no expertise needed
  • Time commitment: Less than 1 hour per week in June and July
  • How to join: Register as a volunteer via this website

Unable to volunteer, but want to keep updated?

If you want the latest news and monitoring result and analysis from our Network in your inbox, then subscribe to our newsletter.

Current network

The network was initiated in 2008 by researchers from 8 countries that wanted to test a standard monitoring protocol. In 2016 the network become more active and its network of transect monitoring sites. Currently there are are transects in 9 countries and partners in 13 countries all over the range of the stag beetle. This map below shows the existing European stag beetle monitoring sites. Each marker represents a transect that was surveyed by a volunteer.

This network was set up by the Research Institute for Nature and Forest together with partners in different countries. Parts of this project were realised with financial support from the People’s Trust for Endangered Species.

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