2017 was a busy year for the Great Stag beetles Hunt with over 6000 confirmed records. What can all these records tell us about the state of Britain’s stag beetles?
In 2017 we had 6107 confirmed stag beetle records with 925 of them being larvae dug up by gardeners and the rest being adults. The largest number of larvae recorded in one place was a staggering 50!
As with previous years most of the records came from South East England with a scattering of records in Bedfordshire. London continues to be the top place for records with 25% of records coming from the Great London area. Most records came from people’s gardens but schools, allotments and even a pub were mentioned!
Although we have some really important data allowing us to track the distribution of stag beetles across the UK, we don’t really know how their numbers are doing. However last year we teamed up with some researchers in Europe to launch a Europe wide project to monitor population numbers of stag beetles annually. This requires volunteers to walk a regular transect and count stag beetles allowing yearly data to be compared as well as spatial data.
We really need more people to take part, so please visit www.stagbeetlemonitoring.org to register your interest.
Helping Stag beetles
There are numerous reasons why stag beetles are declining but one of the key reasons is our love of a tidy garden. You can help stag beetles by making your garden a pesticide free zone, retaining tree stumps and creating a log pile in a quiet corner.
You can read the full State of Britain’s Stag Beetles report here.