Red knot birds threatened by crab decline

Feb 21, 2006

Virginia Tech and New Jersey scientists say a reduction in the number of red knot shorebirds is linked with a decline in Delaware Bay's horseshoe crabs.

The medium-sized red knots make a 20,000-mile round-trip each year from the southern tip of Argentina to the Artic Circle -- one of the longest migrations of any bird.

And each year, during their migration, the bids stop at Delaware Bay to gorge on horseshoe crab eggs. The birds nearly double in body mass during the feeding to store energy to complete the migration.

The researchers have documented the relationship between reductions in the number of red knot birds and declines in horseshoe crabs due to the crabs' popularity as fishing bait.

The research is to be reported in The Journal of Wildlife Management.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Deciding on a purchase: Does it matter if you look up or down while shopping?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

US names red knot bird a threatened species

Dec 09, 2014

A rust-colored shorebird known for a nearly 20,000-mile migration will now receive federal protection, setting the stage for states to coordinate preservation plans for the dwindling species.

Regulators allow horseshoe crab harvest

Feb 12, 2008

The New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council has declined to extend a moratorium on horseshoe crab harvesting aimed at protecting migrating shore birds.

Recommended for you

Professor analyzes role of trade sanctions against Iran

13 hours ago

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed Congress on Tuesday as about 50 Democratic lawmakers threatened to boycott the address, offering the latest and one of the most clear microcosms of the debate about Iran's ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.