Hertfordshire residents urged to help in stag beetle count

Male stag beetle
Male stag beetle

A wildlife charity is asking people in Hertfordshire to help endangered stag beetles this summer.

Stag beetles are Britain’s largest land beetle, with males reaching up to 7.5cm in size.

They are also one of the most spectacular looking insects, with a male’s huge mandibles (antler-like jaws) making them easy to spot.

They can sometimes be seen flying around on warm evenings in early summer.

In 2017, there were only 24 verified sightings of stag beetles in Hertfordshire, compared with 63 in Buckinghamshire and 177 in Essex.

People’s Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) is asking people to help spot stag beetles, for a pair of surveys.

For the Great Stag Hunt, a survey PTES has run for nearly 20 years, people are asked to record any stag beetle sightings between May and August. To take part, visit www.ptes.org/stagbeetles

The website also has information on how to make your garden stag beetle friendly.

The European Stag Beetle Monitoring Network, comprising partner institutes and universities from 13 European countries, aims to assess population levels across the whole of Europe, and is keen to hear from more people in the UK.

For this study, people are asked to survey one specific area over six warm evenings between June and July, recording any stag beetles they see. To find out more about taking part in The European Stag Beetle Monitoring Network, visit the website www.stagbeetlemonitoring.org