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Record numbers of stag beetle sightings from Great Stag Hunt 2020 - People's Trust for Endangered Species

Male stag beetle spotted by Andrew Neal
Male stag beetle spotted by Andrew Neal

As the largest land beetle in the UK and with their distinctive ‘stag’ antlers, stag beetles are one of our most spectacular creatures.

Magnificent minibeasts

Stag beetles have a remarkable life cycle, spending the majority of their life underground as larvae and only emerging for a few weeks in the summer to find a mate and reproduce. During the summer, stag beetles can be found flying around in many habitats including woodland edges, hedgerows, traditional orchards, parks and gardens.

Although they are relatively widespread in southern England, stag beetles are sadly in decline and extremely rare in the rest of Britain and have even become extinct in two European countries. We cannot let that happen here.

Last summer, we asked the public to look out for stag beetles in the 2020 Great Stag Hunt. We had a fantastic response, with more than double the usual number of records submitted.

Our highest ever number of sightings

There were 16,766 stag beetle records submitted (as of 30/9/20) to the Great Stag Hunt. This far surpasses any other year we have run the survey. Once verified, there were found to be 14,281 stag beetle records (this is a sighting and may include more than one beetle, and or larvae). Of the 18,805 adults recorded, 7,754 were female and 10,048 were male (1,003 were unknown). There were 1224 larvae recorded.

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