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Introduction

Lucanus cervus the stag beetle is Britain’s largest known terrestrial beetle.This magnificent beetle, famed for its antler-like mouthparts and its wrestling style of combat in the competition for a mate, make it a charismatic and emblematic creature of our times.However, it is most commonly known for its rapid population distribution decline in the last 40 years. Habitat loss and landscape fragmentation and in turn the loss of dead wood habitats have directly contributed to this fact. Other factors such as road-kill and predation by common predators such as foxes, cats, and magpies have also impacted on its decline.In many European countries as well as the UK, the stag beetle has protected status. It is listed on Annex II of the EC Habitats Directive and Schedule 5 of the Wildlife and countryside Act 1981. It is also a UK Biodiversity Action Plan species (BAP).

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