A new report by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) finds nearly 18 percent of saproxylic beetles are threatened with extinction in Europe. That number goes up to almost 22 percent for the EU as a whole.
Of Europe’s threatened species, the 2018 report finds five are critically endangered, up from two in 2010. Of these, four are endemic, meaning they are found nowhere else in the world. In the EU overall, the IUCN lists seven species as critically endangered, up from three in 2010.
Saproxylic beetles live in and eat dead and decaying wood, and play important ecological roles such as nutrient recycling, pollination and as an important food source for birds and other wildlife.
The IUCN says that to stave of greater declines and help saproxylic beetles bounce back, land management should make sure each square kilometer of land contains a mix of trees of different ages, including standing and fallen dead trees.