European stag beetle monitoring network: transect observations

Latest version published by Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) on 17 March 2023 Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)
Publication date:
17 March 2023
CC0 1.0

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European stag beetle monitoring network: transect observations is an occurrence dataset published by the Research Institute of Nature and Forest (INBO). This dataset contains transect data for Lucanus cervus, collected using a standard protocol (European stag beetle monitoring network ESBMN).

The ESBMN is a European citizen science projects with participants from the Research Institute for Nature and Forest, Natuurpunt, University of Zagreb, insectes.org, Hirschkäferfreunde-Nature two e.V., Centro di ricerca Difesa e Certificazione, Reparto Carabinieri Biodiversità di Verona, Natural History Museum “La Specola”, University of Florence, European Invertebrate Survey, University of Wrocław, Associação Bioliving, Belgorod State University, National Institute of Biology, Rey Juan Carlos University, Switserland, I.I.Schmalhausen Institute of Zoology, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, People’s Trust for Endangered Species, the Royal Hollway University of London and independent researchers.

Issues with the dataset can be reported at https://github.com/inbo/meetnetten-occurrences/issues

We have released this dataset to the public domain under a Creative Commons Zero waiver. We would appreciate it if you follow the INBO norms for data use (https://www.inbo.be/en/norms-data-use) when using the data. If you have any questions regarding this dataset, don't hesitate to contact us via the contact information provided in the metadata or via opendata@inbo.be.

Data Records

The data in this occurrence resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 4,657 records.

This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.


The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.

How to cite

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Thomaes A, Barbalat S, Bardiani M, Bower L, Campanaro A, Soutinho J G, Harvey D, Hawes C, Kadej M, Méndez M, Rink M, Rossi De Gasperis S, Ruyts S, Šerić Jelaska L, Smit J, Smolis A, Vrezec A, Brosens D (2023). European stag beetle monitoring network: transect observations. Version 1.9. Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO). Occurrence dataset. https://ipt.inbo.be/resource?r=monitoring-stagbeetle-transect-occurrences&v=1.9


Researchers should respect the following rights statement:

The publisher and rights holder of this work is Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO). To the extent possible under law, the publisher has waived all rights to these data and has dedicated them to the Public Domain (CC0 1.0). Users may copy, modify, distribute and use the work, including for commercial purposes, without restriction.

GBIF Registration

This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: 4d46102b-5337-4dc3-b901-8d6eda71d2d9.  Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by Belgian Biodiversity Platform.


Occurrence; Observation; Stag beetle; monitoring; priority species; Europe


Arno Thomaes
  • Metadata Provider
  • Originator
  • Point Of Contact
Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)
Sylvie Barbalat
  • Originator
independent researcher
Marco Bardiani
  • Originator
Reparto Carabinieri Biodiversità di Verona
Laura Bower
  • Originator
People’s Trust for Endangered Species
Alessandro Campanaro
  • Originator
CREA, Centro di Ricerca Difesa e Certificazione
João Gonçalo Soutinho
  • Originator
Associação Bioliving
Deborah Harvey
  • Originator
Department of Biological Sciences, Royal Holloway University of London
Colin Hawes
  • Originator
Independent researcher
Marcin Kadej
  • Originator
Department of Invertebrate Biology, Evolution and Conservation, University of Wrocław
Marcos Méndez
  • Originator
Area of Biodiversity and Conservation, Rey Juan Carlos University
Markus Rink
  • Originator
Hirschkäferfreunde-Nature Two e.V.
Sarah Rossi De Gasperis
  • Originator
Department of Biology-Natural History Museum ‘La Specola’, University of Florence
Sanne Ruyts
  • Originator
Lucija Šerić Jelaska
  • Originator
Faculty of Science, Department of Biology, University of Zagreb
John Smit
  • Originator
European Invertebrate Survey—The Netherlands/Naturalis Biodiversity Center
Adrian Smolis
  • Originator
Department of Invertebrate Biology, Evolution and Conservation, University of Wrocław
Al Vrezec
  • Originator
Department of Organisms and Ecosystems Research, National Institute of Biology
Dimitri Brosens
  • Metadata Provider
  • Originator
Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) / Belgian Biodiversity Platform

Geographic Coverage

Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Poland, Serbia in Europe

Bounding Coordinates South West [35.889, -11.426], North East [60.85, 26.521]

Taxonomic Coverage

This dataset covers the European Stag Beetles.

Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Arthropoda
Class Coleoptera
Order Polyphaga
Family Lucanidae
Species Lucanus cervus

Temporal Coverage

Start Date / End Date 2007-07-05 / 2020-09-09

Project Data

The European stag beetle (Lucanus cervus) fires one’s imagination. It is named after the jaws of the male beetle, that look like the antlers of a stag. It is also the biggest beetle in Europe, the males can be a stunning 9 cm long! The European stag beetle requires a specific habitat, mainly due to the ecology of the larvae, which feed on decomposing wood belowground. This fascinating species is threatened. In order to protect the European stag beetle, we want to know more about the population size, distribution and trends. The ESBMN was established in 2016 as an international network of researchers/specialists involved in stag beetle monitoring and was built on the basis of previous scattered and non-organized scientific collaboration among some of the participants. Members represent (alone or in group) different national or regional monitoring networks (schemes). The ESBMN mission is to realise a population density monitoring of the European stag beetle with the aim to regularly assess local as well as international population changes. Our vision is to monitor and review the species status at the full scale of its range with a uniform methodology. The strategy is the inclusion of specialists from all countries within the stag beetles’ range that are willing to set up and maintain a regional or national schemes of monitoring transects.

Title European stag beetle monitoring network
Identifier https://www.stagbeetlemonitoring.org/
Funding People's trust for endangered species
Study Area Description All within the range of the European stag beetle.
Design Description The monitoring network consists of sample locations in which target species are counted based on a standardized protocol. Data collection relies mainly on volunteers, coordinated by the ESBMN (https://www.stagbeetlemonitoring.org/). Fieldwork is planned and monitored with the https://stagbeetle.observation.org/ web tool , which is also used for entering the collected data.

The personnel involved in the project:

Arno Thomaes

Sampling Methods

Sampling was done using the protocol described The transect is 500 m long and should be walked from start to end at a gentle pace taking 30 minutes to complete it. The survey should start 15 minutes before sunset (the time of sunset for the nearest city can be calculated here). The transect is walked by only one surveyor that makes the observations and records them. 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.

Study Extent Volunteers select the location of the transect for data gathering.
Quality Control Data are collected using a predefined sampling protocol and validated in the database

Method step description:

  1. Researchers from the European Stag Beetle Monitoring Network define and document the appropriate sampling protocol for the target species.(https://www.stagbeetlemonitoring.org/monitoring-network/)
  2. Fieldwork is planned and coordinated by scientists & citizen scientists, using https://stagbeetle.observation.org/. Data is collected in the field by researchers and volunteers, using the predefined sampling protocol.
  3. Volunteers enter the collected data in https://stagbeetle.observation.org/.
  4. The data was exported from https://stagbeetle.observation.org/ and mapped Darwin Core as an occurrence core.
  5. The Darwin Core views are connected to the INBO IPT and documented with metadata.
  6. The dataset is published and registered with GBIF.

Bibliographic Citations

  1. Thomaes, A.; Barbalat, S.; Bardiani, M.; Bower, L.; Campanaro, A.; Fanega Sleziak, N.; Gonçalo Soutinho, J.; Govaert, S.; Harvey, D.; Hawes, C.; Kadej, M.; Méndez, M.; Meriguet, B.; Rink, M.; Rossi De Gasperis, S.; Ruyts, S.; Jelaska, L.Š.; Smit, J.; Smolis, A.; Snegin, E.; Tagliani, A.; Vrezec, A. The European Stag Beetle (Lucanus cervus) Monitoring Network: International Citizen Science Cooperation Reveals Regional Differences in Phenology and Temperature Response. Insects 2021, 12, 813. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12090813

Additional Metadata

Alternative Identifiers 4d46102b-5337-4dc3-b901-8d6eda71d2d9