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 be 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 belowground.

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 is where citizen scienctists come in: we need your help! Only with the help of volunteers can we follow up the population and habitat at many individual sites. For more information, take a look at the volunteer page.

our mission

  • 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.
  • Help many other studies concerning its ecology and conservation techniques.

who can join?

  • Location: All within the range of the European stag beetle. A location near you where you (or we) know the species is present.
  • Project type: Fieldwork.
  • Cost: Free.
  • Grade level: All ages, no expertise needed.
  • Time commitment: Less than 1 hour per week in June and July.
  • How to join:


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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 became more active and this website was created.

Currently, we have transects in 7 countries and partners in 14 countries all over the geographical range of the stag beetle. This map shows the existing European stag beetle monitoring sites. Each marker represents a transect that was surveyed by a volunteer.

How to help stag beetles?

We made two leaflets on the conservation of our beloved stag beetle. One focuses on conservation in an urban environment and the second on forest habitat.



Natalia Fanega-Sleziak, Sanne Govaert, Damian Robinson and Arno Thomaes


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