We are calling on Londoners to report any sightings of stag beetles in order to help improve conservation measures for this fascinating globally endangered creature. We also want to know about lesser stag beetle sightings across London.As well as recording your sightings of stag beetles there's lots you can do to help them, especially if you have access to a garden.Download the stag beetle advice note for guidance on how to build a stag beetle log pile and for some great wildlife gardening tips and advice take a look at our Wildlife Gardening Pack.London is a 'hotspot' for stag beetles, and is nationally significant for the population it supports. However, the capital's stag beetles are vulnerable and need our help.The stag beetle has been recorded in most London boroughs, but like many Londoners is particularly loyal to certain areas and is more common in south and west London.While it is rarely spotted in central London (probably because there are few appropriate habitats) researchers are puzzled as to why sightings have been so few in north-west and north-east London.Stag beetles are essential contributors to the cycle of decay; eating wood and transforming it into key components of soil, and therefore nourishing future ecosystems. There are many other animals and fungi that perform a similar role, but stag beetle serve as a symbol of the role of detritovores.Stag beetles are rapidly declining across Europe, mainly as a result of the destruction of dead wood, and tidying up of parks and greenspaces. The larvae live in dead wood for up to seven years while they are maturing, and may also be inadvertently destroyed in the belief that they are pests. In urban areas traffic, feet, cats and other predators also have a detrimental impact.Seen a stag beetle this year? Complete our Stag Beetle Survey to let us know!How to spot a stag beetle- You are most likely to find a stag beetle near or on dead wood- It's between 5cm and 8cm long- It's got large antler shaped jaws- The male's jaws are very large- The female's jaws are smaller but more powerful- Adults emerge from the soil beneath logs or tree stumps from mid-May til late July- Males are often seen flying on sultry summer evenings an hour or two before dusk
I haven't seen one yet this year but hopefully that will change. Submit your sightings here.