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The European Stag Beetle (Lucanus cervus) Monitoring Network: International Citizen Science Cooperation Reveals Regional Differences in Phenology and Temperature Response

  • Thomaes, Arno;
  • Barbalat, Sylvie;
  • Bardiani, Marco;
  • Bower, Laura;
  • Campanaro, Alessandro;
  • Fanega Sleziak, Natalia; 131912;
  • Goncalo Soutinho, Joao;
  • Govaert, Sanne;
  • Harvey, Deborah;
  • Hawes, Colin;
  • Kadej, Marcin;
  • Mendez, Marcos;
  • Meriguet, Bruno;
  • Rink, Markus;
  • Rossi De Gasperis, Sarah;
  • Ruyts, Sanne;
  • Jelaska, Lucija Seric;
  • Smit, John;
  • Smolis, Adrian;
  • Snegin, Eduard;
  • And 2 more
Publication Date
Sep 01, 2021
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To address the decline in biodiversity, international cooperation in monitoring of threatened species is needed. Citizen science can play a crucial role in achieving this challenging goal, but most citizen science projects have been established at national or regional scales. Here we report on the establishment and initial findings of the European Stag Beetle Monitoring Network (ESBMN), an international network of stag beetle (Lucanus cervus) monitoring schemes using the same protocol. The network, started in 2016, currently includes 14 countries (see results) but with a strong variation in output regarding the number of transects (148 successful transects in total) and transect walks (1735). We found differences across European regions in the number of stag beetles recorded, related to phenology and temperature, but not for time of transect start. Furthermore, the initial experiences of the ESBMN regarding international cooperation, citizen science approach, and drop-out of volunteers is discussed. An international standardised protocol that allows some local variation is essential for international collaboration and data management, and analysis is best performed at the international level, whereas recruiting, training, and maintaining volunteers is best organised locally. In conclusion, we appeal for more joint international citizen science-based monitoring initiatives assisting international red-listing and conservation actions. / status: published

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