The European Habitats Directive prescribes Member States to report on trends in abundance and distribution of protected species. One of these species is Graphoderus bilineatus (De Geer, 1774), a middle-sized predaceous aquatic beetle, listed in Annex II and IV of the Habitats Directive. In the Netherlands, a monitoring scheme for this species has been set up to assess the national trend as well as the trend in the national Natura2000 sites. In this scheme, a selection of 1 km2 squares is surveyed in cycles of six years using a standardized field method by professional fieldworkers. In each selected square, five locations were sampled per annum (September–October) by two different observers using hand netting. The data of the first two rounds (2011–2016 and 2017–2022) have been analysed using both an occupancy model and a Poisson GLMM. We found evidence of a declining trend in occupancy as well as in population size. The decreases were stronger outside than within Natura2000 sites and also stronger than those of three other beetle species that are often found together with G. bilineatus. In addition, considerable differences between observers were detected in the data, despite the application of a standardized field method.

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Journal of Insect Conservation

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Staff publications

van Strien, Arco J., Koese, B., Stienstra, J., Soldaat, Leo L., & de Zeeuw, Marnix. (2024). Trends in abundance and occupancy of the protected water beetle Graphoderus bilineatus in the Netherlands. Journal of Insect Conservation, 2024. doi:10.1007/s10841-024-00550-x