Stag Beetle photo (above and below) © Jane Adams
Dorset Wildlife Trust is really pleased that local people are reporting sightings of Stag Beetles in the Bournemouth, Poole, Ferndown and Verwood areas of Dorset.
Stag Beetle national decline
The recent ‘State of Nature’ report listed the Stag Beetle as an insect which is threatened globally and declining in the UK, but the Bournemouth area remains a ‘hot spot’ for these insects. Elsewhere, it is thought that habitats diminished by urban development, adverse weather and the removal of their egg laying sites in dead and decaying wood has a significant role to play in their decline. These giant-jawed creatures (their jaws used for fighting other stag beetles, not biting us) are one of the largest insects in the UK, measuring up to 7.5cm and are certainly a sight to behold!
Jane Adams, Marketing Consultant for Dorset Wildlife Trust said: “We always get excited when we receive a photo on our Facebook page from someone who has found stag beetles in their garden for the first time. This year we've had sightings in Verwood, Ferndown, Parkstone, Charminster and Highcliffe. It's good to know they are still managing to breed in the more urban areas of Dorset, and great that we can record the numbers for conservation purposes"
Help us record wildlife
This is an excellent chance for the public to get involved in helping us with our newly launched ‘Wildlife on your Doorstep’ citizen science survey, where we are asking the public to record wildlife in gardens, parks and open spaces. You don’t need to be an expert all you have to do is watch wildlife and write down what you see.
How can you help?
To create a haven for Stag Beetles in your garden, try the following:
- Leave old tree stumps or posts in the ground to provide the ideal habitat for developing larva.
- Avoid polythene sheeting in spring time as this will trap the emerging adult beetles
- Cover water butts and provide access out of ponds
- Use untreated woodchips or mulch to encourage nesting
- If larvae are disturbed, rebury them close by and cover loosely with soil
You can download a Wildlife on your doorstep pack online, or if you would prefer a paper version, phone 01305 264620 and we will send you a pack in the post.