Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘horseshoe crabs’

New Podcast Episode: The Red Knot’s Journey

Sunday, January 5th, 2020

Conserve Wildlife Foundation is excited to release The Red Knot’s Journey, the second episode of ‘State of Change’, our podcast exploring how climate change is affecting wildlife in New Jersey.

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Award Winning Program Removes Rubble for Horseshoe Crabs

Monday, December 30th, 2019

reTURN the Favor Honored with 2019 New Jersey Governor’s Excellence Award

By: Meghan Kolk, Wildlife Biologist

Volunteers making piles of rubble at Seabreeze. Photo by Meghan Kolk.

Conserve Wildlife Foundation has been a partner in the reTURN the Favor (RTF) program since its establishment in 2013.  This multi-partner program organizes a large group of trained and dedicated volunteers who collectively spend thousands of hours covering miles of Delaware Bay beaches to rescue stranded horseshoe crabs.

This year RTF was honored with a New Jersey’s Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award, New Jersey’s premier awards program for recognizing outstanding environmental performance, programs and projects throughout the state, in the Healthy Ecosystems & Habitats Category.

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Green Eggs and Sand Educator Workshop

Tuesday, March 26th, 2019
Horseshoe crab eggs on the beach. Photo from The Wetlands Institute.

During the full and new moon events in May and June thousands of horseshoe crabs come ashore to spawn, primarily in Delaware Bay. At the same time migrating shorebirds descend upon the beaches to rest and feed on the horseshoe crab eggs before continuing onto their breeding grounds. This interaction between horseshoe crab, shorebird and humans is what lays the ground works for the Green Eggs & Sand (GE&S) workshop.

The GE&S workshop is a three-day workshop for teachers focused on understanding the issues, science and management of the horseshoe crab/shorebird interaction. Workshop participants learn from top researchers and natural managers in the field, and participate in a horseshoe crab count.

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Birds in better condition than last year but still face an ecological roulette

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

by Larry Niles (Part 3 of 3)

With the stopover period winding down, we can say the red knot and other shorebird species left the bay in better condition than the disastrous condition of last year. So what does it mean?

First, the last four years have been a sort of ecological roulette for the birds. Horseshoe crab numbers remained at only 1/3 the potential population possible on Delaware Bay leaving birds at the mercy of good conditions to get enough eggs. Last year, water temperatures stayed low during the mid-May depressing the spawn and the density of eggs. Although the average was 8000-eggs/square meter, there were less than 2000 eggs/ meters square in the month of May. (more…)

Good horseshoe crab egg densities draw 34,500 Red Knots to the bay

Monday, July 9th, 2018

by Larry Niles (Part 2 of 3)

The best news is a direct consequence of these good conditions, the number of knots and turnstones increased this year. Our season-high estimates show that there are 34,500 knots in the bay and 21,000 ruddy turnstones. These may be the highest counts on the bay in at least 15 years.

Why? At first one would conclude the increased numbers on the bay represent a real increase in the size of the population, but it is not. Shorebirds need time to respond to improving conditions because they are relatively slow breeders, as are most Arctic breeders. Knot numbers on Delaware Bay basically depend on the availability of crab eggs. In bad years, numbers go down because birds come to the bay and leave quickly. (more…)