Be part of our community

Stag beetle enthusiasts can assist in the collection of observation data and input them on this website. There is already an enthusiastic community of volunteers throughout Europe. 

If you’re motivated to become part of our community and to follow up a transect in your region, then don’t hesitate to register.

You will find all the information you need on the protocol on this page.

Protocol Overview

In summary, volunteers choose a 500 m transect where stag beetles are known to occur. They agree to walk the route at least six times a year during the months June and July. People may of course decide to walk the transect more often which will result in much more detailed info. Volunteers are asked to commit for at least one season, but to detect long-term trends observations should done over a few years. If you are interested to volunteer, please read our protocol thoroughly as listed below:

WHERE?

Defining a transect locationA transect is placed in an area within the range of the beetle. Additionally, the transect follows a path or route that you can easily follow in order to make observations for data collection. A few rules:

  1. Transects should be 500m long.
  2. Choose a starting point that you can easily retrieve each year.
  3. The direction of the transect should be kept constant every time the transect is walked. Preferable, walk more or less eastwards so the sun is going down behind you.
  4. Record the latitude and longitude of the middle point of the transect.

WHEN?

Adult stag beetles are most active during the months of June and July when the weather is warmer than 12°C.

  1. Walk weekly transects when weather conditions are suitable: warm (>12°C) evenings with little or no rain and no strong wind
  2. The transect should be walked at least six times each year. Additional transect walks can be carried out, especially around the short period of peak activity.
  3. If you are on holidays or there are other reasons why you cannot walk the transect for a certain period, it is advisable to find somebody to replace you.

HOW?

The transect is 500 m long and should be walked from start to end at a gentle pace taking 30 minutes to complete it.

  1. The survey should start 15 minutes before sunset (the time of sunset for the nearest city can be calculated here).
  2. The transect is walked by only one surveyor that makes the observations and records them.
  3. Note all stag beetles (Lucanus cervus) on the field sheet within a virtual box of approximately 10 m in front of the surveyor and 5 m to each side of the surveyor.

YEARLY ASSESSMENTS

In order to explain the trends of the different transects, we ask you to assess the habitat on a yearly basis in the area of about 200 m surrounding your transect. Habitat assessment implies answering only four questions.

Download the full protocol here

Field Sheet

We have designed a field sheet to fill in your observations. The PDF file is available to download in different languages here.

Afterwards, your observations should be reported via our website. To do this you need to register first.

Check out our Volunteers in the Spotlight section here

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