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Saving threatened great stag beetles across Europe

The problem

Great stag beetles are incredible creatures. Their giant mandibles look like deer antlers and make for an impressive sight and the males use these antlers to compete with other males in order to win over females.

Our largest land-living beetle has an unusual life history. Interestingly, it spends several years as a larva, underground and only emerges as an adult for a few weeks during the summer. What’s more, the adults barely feed, but the larvae rely on a good supply of deadwood in order for them to grow and fatten up. However, across Europe, dead wood is becoming scarcer. And this means stag beetles are in trouble.

The solution

PTES has been working with our European partners for some years. A concerted pan-European effort is underway to monitor and conserve stag beetles. Some countries where stag beetles are found have fewer resources or less interest from the general public. By pooling our efforts it means we are focusing attention and helping stag beetles across the entire continent.

Arianna Tagliani PTES internship grant european stag beetles. Saving threatened great stag beetles across Europe
A stag beetle larva
Arianna Tagliani PTES internship grant european stag beetles. Saving threatened great stag beetles across Europe
Arianna Tagliani in the field

The ‘European stag beetle monitoring’ initiative ( was set up in 2016, with help from PTES. We are now supporting Arianna Tagliani to continue this great work.

Based in Flanders, in northern Belgium, Arianna is helping our colleague Arno, maintain and develop the network of volunteers working hard to protect stags.

She is writing guidance for forest workers on how best to manage their woodlands for a species that relies heavily on deadwood. And she is designing newsletters to send out regularly to the volunteers to keep them updated on what is happening and make sure they feel part of the stag beetle community. Arianna is passionate about beetles and determined to share her enthusiasm with volunteers across Europe. 

This project is possible thanks to our generous donors. Can you help us continue?

Let's keep in touch...

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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