Status and reports
Stag beetles are legally protected from sale in the UK. They are also classed as a ‘priority species’, listed on Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. If stag beetles or their larvae are known or thought to be present at a site where an application for planning has been submitted, and are likely to be disturbed or destroyed whilst work is carried out at the site, it’s recommended that someone with an understanding of the insects’ requirements be present to see that any larvae or adults are carefully translocated to a suitable natural or purpose-built habitat close by.
Stag beetles are Red listed in many European countries and have undergone a decline across Europe. They have gone extinct in Denmark and Latvia, although there has been a successful reintroduction into one site in Denmark in 2013.
We’ve been studying them for nearly 20 years, with the help of the public, and our partner organisations. Our national surveys help us to keep an eye on numbers and give the best advice on saving them. We also work hard to protect their homes such as orchards and woodlands.
The State of Britain’s Stag Beetles 2018
The Great Stag Hunt collects ad hoc records of stag beetles in the UK. The website is open to collect records all year round but the 2017 Great Stag Hunt was launched on 23rd May. People were asked to plot their sighting on a map, adding the date, time, sex, number of beetles, stage (larva or adult) and activity.
You can also download previous Great Stag Hunt reports here: