Counting stag beetles at sunset: join the Stag Beetle Count this summer

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Magnificent stag beetles

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

What is the European Stag Beetle Monitoring Network?

It’s a network of 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 with the Stag Beetle Count?

One-off records of stag beetles are great, and taking part in the Great Stag Hunt is still extremely useful – 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 take part in the Stag Beetle Count and count stag beetles weekly. Over a period of some years, this data can then be analysed and compared over time and between countries.

How does the Stag Beetle Count survey work?

After signing up at, select a suitable walk of 500m in length. This can be along 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 (have a look on the map to see if others have reported sightings if you’re unsure!). 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. It’s as easy as that.

Example of the simple survey form on

Can I do the count in my garden?

Yes you can. We’re 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.

Male stag beetle by Ruby Whitman

Sounds a bit complicated to me…

It’s 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!

Want to take part? Join the count and help us look for stag beetles this summer!

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We'd love to tell you about our conservation work through our regular newsletter Wildlife World, and also how you can save endangered species through volunteering, taking action or donating. You must be 18 or over. The information that you provide will be held by People’s Trust for Endangered Species. For information on how PTES processes personal data, please see our privacy policy.

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