To protect the deer beetle in Germany: NLWKN asks the population for help

Hannover- Sightings of the threatened deer beetle can be reported online and by post in Germany. So far, there is insufficient information about the distribution and stock of the highly endangered deer beetle in Lower Saxony. In order to change this, the Niedersächsische Landesbetrieb für Wasserwirtschaft, Küsten- und Naturschutz (NLWKN) asks the population for help: Attentive citizens can report sightings of the threatened beetle to the NLWKN. For this purpose, a digital deer beetle reporting form is available on the NLWKN website to quickly communicate sightings online. Fund reports can also be reported to the NLWKN by post.

“Recounized sightings are very important for our work. Only if we know the geographical distribution of the beetle can we adapt protective measures and counteract the drastic decline of the deer beetle,” says André Apel from the species protection department at the NLWKN operating office Hannover-Hildesheim.

The beetle has some distinctive features by which it can be clearly identified. With its body length of up to eight centimeters, the antler-like enlarged upper jaw of the males and the striking flight behavior, it is one of the most spectacular and well-known insects in Lower Saxony. Although it is so conspicuous, too little is known about its distribution and stock. This is also due to the fact that its population has been declining sharply for a long time and a sighting of the animal is therefore becoming less and less likely.

“The animals are still most likely to be seen in old, hardwood-rich deciduous forests in a sunny and heat-favoured locations. But the deer beetle can also be observed in old parks, forest-level fruit stands as well as individual or grouped trees in the open country,” explains Apel. The animals are particularly active flying from the end of May to July on windless, warm evenings at dusk and can be heard widely through the loud “buzz”.