August 4- Red Knots and Horseshoe Crabs

wildlife platesHere’s what you missed on Tuesday.  Jim May entertained the group with his experience working with Conserve Wildlife tagging Horseshoe Crabs and Red Knot birds.  This effort is funding through the purchase of Conserve Wildlife license plates and the check box on your State Tax forms.  The Red Knot begins its migration from the tip of Chile up to Brazil.  The bird fattens up in Brazil for the non-stop flight to the Delaware Bay beaches during the full moon in May.  By then the water has warmed up enough for the Horseshoe Crabs to begin spawning.  Each little Red Knot needs to consume about 15,000 horseshoe crab eggs before resuming the journey to the Hudson Bay.  One of the tagged Red Knots had made this trip over 20 time which is the equivalent of traveling to the moon.  The Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey has more information about the Red Knot and how you can get involved.

Restrictions are in place to limit the taking of Horseshoe Crabs.  Fisherman used Horseshoe crabs as free bait.  FDA approved the medical use of horseshoe crabs in the 1970’s. If someone you know got a flu shot, a hip replacement, or pace maker you should thank the horseshoe crab.  The safety of these medical devices and products are tested using horseshoe crab blood.