Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Horseshoe Crabs on the Beach

No, it's not the latest cocktail-- The horseshoe crab, more akin to a giant spider than a crab, comes to shore to mate at high tide during a full moon, so in order to help chart the population levels of this ancient creature, we met up with Brian Kelder from Seatuck and Matt Sclafani of Cornell Cooperative Extension to chart how many horseshoe crabs were on the shores of Captree Island last night. After surveying the length of the beach, Olivia and Jackson were given the opportunity to tag some of the crabs located for future reference.
Horseshoe crabs are an important link in bird migration. The red knot, a rare shore bird known for having the greatest migration journey, relies on horseshoe crab eggs for food as it travels from South America to Canada, stopping on Long Island on its way. If there aren't enough eggs, or if those eggs appear after the birds have passed Long Island, there could be a signficant impact on the red knot's already dwindling population.
To take part in future horseshoe crab counts, check out

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