A recently published IUCN report states that about 18% of the assessed European saproxylic beetles are at risk of extinction. This can be led back to an ongoing decline in large old trees all across Europe. Saproxylic beetles are beetles that mainly live on dead wood. Therefore, old and dead, decaying trees play an essential role in saproxylic beetles lifecycle’s. They highly depend on these habitats at least in parts of their lifes. These beetles are furthermore involved in decomposition processes as well as the recycling of nutrients in natural ecosystems. In addition, they are a major food source for birds and mammals. Some species also contribute to pollination.
Please also read: Good Forest Means Dead Wood
Further monitoring is needed to discover whole extent of species development
However, the report highlights that there still is a lack of data for many species. According to Keith Alexander, IUCN Saproxylic Beetles Specialis Advisor, the population trend of half of the species assessed remains unknown. He further states that about a quarter of the assessed species showed Data Deficiency. Keith Alexander sees this as a strong sign that more monitoring is neccessary.