Thursday, June 09, 2005

Red Flag For Red Knot

The Red Knot has one of the longest migration patterns, traveling from Tierra del Fuego on the southern tip of south America to the Arctic to nest during the brief summer months. Every year, millions of shorebirds including Red Knots, Sanderlings, and Ruddy Turnstones, stop off on the shores of the Delaware Bay on their way to the Arctic to breed, where they come to feed on the eggs of horseshoe crabs that spawn on the beaches at the same time of year. It is one of nature's great migration spectacles.

The Delaware Bay is their final "re-fueling" stop on the way north, where they beef up for the long flight ahead and put on extra weight for nesting, the birds need the crab eggs to sustain them through the remaining leg of their long migration north, some 4,000 miles.

Overharvesting of the crabs for use as bait in conch and eel pots has meant a less bountiful take for the birds which longterm could be detrimental to the species. A study conducted by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection predicts the Red Knot could face extinction in 5 years, read the Reuter's story.

* Act now to help save the Red Knots
* Audubon calls for emergency action
* More info on Red Knott
* Help the count

No comments: