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Last Updated: Wednesday June 21 2006 17:41 GMT

UK's beetles 'are under threat'

Stag beetle
Britain's beetle population is in serious danger, according to a conservation charity.

Buglife, which campaigns to protect endangered insects, says 250 of the UK's 4,000 species of beetle have not been seen since the 1970s.

The charity says beetles are important for other animals, so it's vital that we take action to protect them.

It says the reason many species are in danger of extinction is that their habitat is being destroyed.

Scientists say beetles play a very important role in the environment, doing things like burying dead insects, and helping flowers breed.

Buglife director Matt Shadlow said the falling numbers of other insect species pointed to the fact that beetles are in decline.

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