Working Group of Iberian Lucanidae (GTLI)


Justification and objectives
The xylophagous or saproxylophagous diet of Lucanidae make them potentially sensitive to forest management such as decayed wood removal, as well as to forest fragmentation, degradation or loss (Speight, 1989). The Stag Beetle, Lucanus cervus, is currently protected by several international conventions which are observed by Spain (Apendix III of Bern Convention and Apendix II of the Habitat Directive the EU), as well as other xylophagous beetle species. Other European Lucanidae are included in national Red Lists. In addition, many of the European Lucanidae species are endemisms; these species use to be left aside in protection international policies. In the Iberian peninsula there are two quasi-endemic Lucanidae species, Platycerus spinifer and Pseudolucanus barbarossa. Almost everything is ignored about their distribution and abundance; even less about whether they face any threat.

The objective of this project is to gather the available information about distribution, abundance and conservation or threat status for all European Lucanidae species, with special emphasis in those present in the Iberian peninsula. This task seems necessary and convenient in a moment in which coordination of efforts and information at an international level seems to be required for achieving an effective protection.

Information about all European Lucanidae is now available in a table. Currently, we trying to fill in data about species richness and conservation status for each European country. Information is currently very incomplete. Lucanus cervus is the species for which more information is availabe (distribution maps and conservation status).

Tentatively, it seems that status of L. cervus is better in the periphery of its distribution range and particularly in the Mediterranean (Spain, Italy) part of its range. This situation agrees with that of other threatened species, in which the centre of the range has been more negatively affected by human activities (Channell & Lomolino, 2000). However, the information is still very fragmentary to allow an appropriate description and assessment of the distribution of L. cervus in Europe.

How to collaborate
1.- Sending information about the distribution or status of populations of any Lucanidae in those countries for which GTLI lacks data. Please, use our standarized form to provide new data. In the same way, any information complementing, updating or contradicting the already available will help to get a better idea about the conservation status of Lucanidae in Europe.

2.- Providing GTLI with the addresses of institutions interested in the interchange of information about European Lucanidae.


Channell, R.; Lomolino, M. V. 2000. Dynamic biogeography and conservation of endangered species. Nature 403: 84-86.

Grove, S. J. 2002. Saproxylic insect ecology and the sustainable management of forests. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 33: 1-23.

Speight, M. C. D. 1989. Saproxylic invertebrates and their conservation. Nature and Environment Series No. 42. Council of Europe, Estrasburgo.

Last updated: 16 July 2006