News Archives

Archive for 2010

Horseshoe Crabs in the Americas


Pterygotid Sea Scorpions Not High Level Predator

New Jersey: Research by scientists from New York and New Jersey universities has seriously questioned the long held belief that the pterygotid eurypterids (“sea scorpions”) were high-level predators in the Paleozoic oceans 470 to 370 million years ago. download the pdf.


Giant Horseshoe Crabs Invade Naples Beach

Florida: It’s a rare and delightful sight to see horseshoe crabs on a Naples beach, but imagine seeing them 10 times their size. That was the scene one recent afternoon as local artist Ed Koehler unveiled his latest larger-than-life sea creature sculptures. download the pdf.


Howard County Students Raise Horseshoe Crabs in Science Class

Maryland: Lunch and recess can be regarded by elementary school students as times free from classroom instruction, but not for 15 fifth-graders at Pointers Run Elementary School, in Clarksville. The students, along with teachers Eric Jayne and Chris Brown, use the time to raise horseshoe crabs, testing the water in three tanks and feeding the eight 1-year-old crabs and several dozen recently hatched “babies.” download the pdf.


Bloomfield High School Teacher Wins Environmental Education Grant

New Jersey: Bloomfield High School teacher Michael Doyle now has extra money to supplement his students’ lesson plans with hands-on learning, thanks to a $1,917.45 grant from PSEG. download the pdf.


The Leonardo of limulus, a Salty Jackson Pollock with a Prehistoric Canvas

Massachusetts: For five years, Greg Vaughan has liberated the shells and carcasses of dead horseshoe crabs from the sand and seaweed around Pleasant Bay. All in the name of arthropod art. download the pdf.

He Paints Horseshoe Crabs! YouTube


Biotech Firm Scores $600,000 Venture Capital Infusion

Alabama: A Birmingham-based biotechnology firm has received a $600,000 venture capital boost to continue operations and hire at least one more worker. download the pdf.


Shorebird Researchers Document Red Knot’s Record-breaking Non-stop Flight and Total Migration Distance

New Jersey: Using light-sensitive geolocators, shorebird researchers tracked and recorded the annual migration of Red Knots (Calidris canutus) from New Jersey (USA) to their Arctic breeding grounds and South American “wintering” grounds. One flew nearly 5,000 miles (8,000 kilometers) for six days, a record-breaking non-stop flight for this species; it also covered one of the longest recorded annual distances of any bird species: 16,600 miles (26,700 kilometers) in total. Download the pdf.


Horseshoe Crabs Thriving in Outer Cape Salt Pond

Massachusetts: The ancient, delicate and crusty horseshoe crab, with ancestors older than dinosaurs, has decided to make a home on the shores of East Harbor, where federal protections can provide a refuge from humans. Evidence of the heavily armored crab, in the form of pale molted shells stuck in mud and reeds on the water’s edge, began appearing about two years ago in East Harbor and exploded to “thousands” last year, according to Cape Cod National Seashore plant ecologist Stephen Smith. download pdf.


New Hope for a Restored Jamaica Bay

New York: Sprawling across southern Queens and Brooklyn is Jamaica Bay, a wildlife refuge smack in the middle of one of the world’s largest cities. With its breathtaking views of green marshland and glimmering water set against the backdrop of New York’s urban landscape, it is the seeming image of peaceful coexistence between man and nature. However, years of abuse from over development and neglect have left the bay’s days numbered. download the pdf.


Climate Change Plays Unlucky for Horseshoe Crabs

US: Horseshoe crab populations are declining across the entire East Coast, from Maine to Florida, and are triggering a domino-effect among the larger animals that prey on them. Already, researchers are observing marked decreases in shore bird populations, especially the red knot bird and loggerhead sea turtles, two species that commonly feast on the crabs. Human activity, from overfishing to population booms along shorelines, have been blamed for recent drops in the number of American horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus). A new study in the journal Molecular Biology suggests that climate change may also play a significant role. download the pdf.


ASFMC Addendum VI Maintains a Management Program for the Delaware Bay Region

US: The provisions of Addendum VI are in place from November 1, 2010 through April 30, 2013. However, the Board may choose to replace Addendum VI with another addendum or amendment to the FMP prior to April 30, 2013. download the pdf.


Sea Wall Suit Says Bad Work is Killing Wildlife

New Jersey: A conservation organization has filed a lawsuit against Fairfield Township and the state Department of Environmental Protection for what it has deemed a negligently designed, built and supervised sea wall in Seabreeze. download the pdf.


Dead Fish Blanket Delaware Bay Shore

Delaware Bay: Never in more than a half-century of summers on Delaware Bay near Cape May, N.J., had Charles G. Cubbler Jr. seen anything like the fishy spectacle laid out along the water on Thursday. download the pdf.


New Restaurant, Marina Could Revitalize Sussex Coastal Town

Delaware: Nearly a decade worth of work to bring a new restaurant, marina and boat tour service through the coastal community of Slaughter Beach is one step closer to reality. download the pdf.


Local Teenager Wins International Young Eco Hero Award

Maryland: Alexander James Zerphy, aged 13, a resident of Annapolis, MD, is a winner of Action For Nature’s 2010 International Young Eco-Hero Award. Zerphy is being honored for educating the public about the urgent need to protect the Atlantic horseshoe crab, and for connecting people with nature. Read more »


Coastal Bays Shorelines Work Best When They’re Alive

Maryland: If you’ve got short little legs like a diamondback terrapin or a horseshoe crab, you can’t scale or shimmy up bulkhead or riprap. But you can crawl onto a sandy, natural beach to deposit your eggs. Maryland’s state reptile, the diamondback terrapin, lays its eggs along the sandy shorelines of local brackish waters. Horseshoe crabs do, too. The coastal bays, located behind Ocean City and Assateague Island, provide prime nesting habitat for these aquatic animals. However, these critical nesting areas are at risk. download the pdf.


Coastal Bays Shorelines Work Best When They’re Alive

Maryland: If you’ve got short little legs like a diamondback terrapin or a horseshoe crab, you can’t scale or shimmy up bulkhead or riprap. But you can crawl onto a sandy, natural beach to deposit your eggs. Maryland’s state reptile, the diamondback terrapin, lays its eggs along the sandy shorelines of local brackish waters. Horseshoe crabs do, too. The coastal bays, located behind Ocean City and Assateague Island, provide prime nesting habitat for these aquatic animals. However, these critical nesting areas are at risk. download the pdf.


Horseshoe Crab Decline ‘Alarming’

Massachusetts: University of Massachusetts graduate student Sarah Martinez is careful about drawing non-scientific conclusions about her horseshoe crab research. But, after four years doing population surveys onthese dinosaur-age survivors, Martinez, who hails from Yarmouth, can’t help herself. download the pdf.


A Fresh Approach To Save Ancient Horseshoe Crabs

Delaware Bay: Earlier this spring, the beaches of Delaware Bay were loaded with horseshoe crab eggs — the first evidence that more than a decade of harvest reductions and intensive management may be paying off. download the pdf.


Horseshoe Crabs’ Annual Spawning Draws Red Knots, Spectators to Delaware Bay Shore

New Jersey: Mario and Aida D’Angelo, of Quebec, peered through binoculars, looking for what they had traveled 450 miles to see. There, in the water’s edge at Reeds Beach, lurked thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of horseshoe crabs biding their time until Thursday’s full-moon tide would signal the peak of the annual spawn. The crabs on this single beach are joining spawning crabs along the Delaware Bay this week in what some observers say is one of New Jersey’s greatest wildlife spectacles. download the pdf.


Horseshoe Crabs May Be Recovering

Delaware: In more than a decade of watching, the Delaware Shorebird monitoring team never saw a spring like this one. From the air, the beaches of Delaware Bay were covered with spawning horseshoe crabs. download the pdf.


Medically, We’re Really Lucky to Have Horseshoe Crabs Around

South Carolina: To flip, or not to flip: That is the Low-country question. When you walk on the beach at this time of year, you’re likely to see dozens, scores, even hundreds of horseshoe crabs, most of them lying helplessly on their crusty, prehistoric-looking backs. download the pdf.


From Cod to Conch- How the Fisheries Have Shifted Focus Over The Past Twenty-Five Years

Massachusetts: Jimmy Morgan fished from the Mary and Verna for almost forty years out of Menemsha. In July 2008, there tired fisherman was featured in the magazine, which has covered recreational and commercial fishing regularly through the years. Way back when Janet Messineo used to wait tables in Vineyard restaurants, calamari was never on the menu. And sushi? Who’d ever heard of sushi? And twenty-five years ago, when this magazine began, fishermen could still harpoon swordfish in Vineyard waters. The great collapse of cod stocks had not happened. Few of us had even heard of global warming, let alone anticipated its potential to devastate our lobster fishery. Who thought conch fishing would become a major industry? Who thought “trash” species like the horseshoe crab would need a management plan for protection? Yes, a great deal has changed in the past quarter century: what we harvest from the sea, what we eat of it, what we do with the rest, what’s still out there, and what is no longer out there. download the pdf.


From New York Harbor’s Depths, Muck to Restore Islands in Jamaica Bay

New York: For generations, the islands of Jamaica Bay, the 26-square-mile natural sanctuary off theBrooklyn and Queens shoreline that is home to hundreds of species of migratory birds and marine life, have been disappearing, victims of environmental neglect. download the pdf.


Fishermen Feud Over Horseshoe Crab Protection

Massachusetts: Ancient crabs spawn during full moon in May, June. Among all the species taken by fishermen in this part of the world, horseshoe crabs have, until now, enjoyed a dubious distinction: they were the only ones targeted while in the act of reproducing. The easiest way for many to catch them was to walk the beaches at the times of the full and new moons in May and June and simply pick them up as they came into the shallows to spawn. Not anymore though. As of this year, new regulations will stop the practice. For five days around each full and new moon, they will be left undisturbed as they sow future generations of themselves. A new minimum size limit also has been established. download the pdf.


Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk Seeks Volunteers for Horseshoe Crab Tagging

Connecticut: The Maritime Aquarium is seeking volunteers to help attach census tags to horseshoe crabs as the crabs come up out of the water to spawn at Calf Pasture Beach. download the pdf.


Researcher’s Breakthrough Ensures Future Supplies Of The Medically Vital Horseshoe Crab

Connecticut: Carmela Cuomo plunged her hand into a fish tank and stirred the bottom with a spoon, creating a swirling cloud of sand, gravel, and tiny horseshoe crabs. The hatchlings — visible best under a microscope — are the fruits of 11 years of experimentation spurred by what was almost a dare from a colleague: Would it be possible to rear horseshoe crabs from the ghostly, translucent hatchling stage to their spiky-tailed, fully armored adulthood? download the pdf.


Wildlife And Progress Return To Jamaica Bay

New York: A few years ago, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and partnering agencies restored Elders Point East, a marsh island in Jamaica Bay that had been deteriorating. Last summer, Melissa Alvarez, a senior project biologist with the Army Corps’ New York District, made a few interesting discoveries while inspecting the island.  “I saw movement in the water as the tide was draining one of the creeks,” Alvarez said. “I looked closer and saw something I’ve never seen — there were dozens of juvenile horseshoe crabs swimming within the tidal creek. They were the size of a quarter, but this meant so much more. It means that the restored island is now providing successful breeding for horseshoe crabs.”  download the pdf.


State Agency Wants Help Counting Horseshoe Crabs On South Florida Beaches

Florida: State wildlife biologists are asking the public this weekend to do a little peeping in the name of science: They want people to find horseshoe crabs caught spawning at local beaches. download the pdf.


5-Day Crab Closures Each New And Full Moon In May and June

Massachusetts: Beginning this season, horseshoe crab rules will be amended to increase protection of mature and spawning crabs and to minimize the chances of local stock depletion. Director Paul Diodati and the Marine FisheriesAdvisory Commission approved new conservation measures to go into effect on April 16 for the upcoming season:  download the pdf.


A Day Aboard the Dredge Pullen

Delaware Bay: Under a cloudless sky and near-70-degree temperatures, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers yesterday provided a peek into how the Delaware River shipping channel is dredged. download the pdf.


ASMFC Horseshoe Crab Stock Assessment Overview

US: This document summarizes the 2009 benchmark stock assessment for horseshoe crab, and the multi-species Adaptive Resource Management (ARM) framework. The horseshoe crab assessment and ARM framework were evaluated by an independent pane of scientific experts through the Commission’’s External Peer Review process. The horseshoe crab assessment represents the most recent and best information on the status of horseshoe crab stocks for use in fisheries management, and the ARM framework provides guidance for the multi-species management of horseshoe crab and red knot in the Delaware Bay. download the pdf.


Judge OKs Delaware River Dredging

Delaware: It’s a go for deepening the Delaware River shipping channel an additional 5 feet. U.S. District Judge Sue L. Robinson in Wilmington yesterday denied Delaware’s request to block the U.S.Army Corps of Engineers from starting the 102.5-mile deepening, in a stretch of water off Delaware. download the pdf.


Van Drew Blocks Cumberland Scientist’s Appointment to Pinelands Commission

New Jersey: Larry Niles was the choice of the Pinelands Preservation Alliance, environmental groups throughout the region and even former Gov. Jon S. Corzine to fill a vacancy on the Pinelands Commission. The state Senate thought otherwise. download the pdf.


Horseshoe Crabs in Asia


Farmer’s Feral Rice Comes From Paddy Rife With Life

Japan: A 70-year-old farmer grows high quality rice on a 7-hectare paddy in Chiba Prefecture that does not require cultivation as he uses plants developed like those in the wild. Compared with other rice fields in the area, Yoshihide Fujisaki’s paddy has many more living creatures, including loaches and frogs. Even birds that prey on them have come to settle on the field. download the pdf.


New Progress on Horseshoe Crab Rearing 馬蹄蟹保育迎來新進展

Hong Kong: It was a sunny morning when the Form 5 students from St Paul’s Secondary School started their journey to San Tau Village on Lantau Island. They were on a field trip during the summer vacation to study the ecological environment and characteristics of juvenile horseshoe crabs living in the wild. download the pdf.


Best Wildlife Hot Spots in Singapore

Singapore: Most people know Singapore as a busy and modern concrete jungle. But Singapore is also home to incredibly rich diversity of fauna and flora because of its geographical location. Singapore is home to more than 300 species of birds, roughly 60 species of mammals, at least 100 species of reptiles and 28 species of amphibians. download the pdf.


A Thai Village With A Passion For Food

Thailand: Two stalls by the estuary in a fishing village just to the north of Cha-Am in Thailand will delight any chef or seafood lover. download the pdf.


Recreational Fishing Lands New Business Opportunities

Taiwan: The rise of tourism as a key industry in Taiwan is bringing new hope to the country’s commercial fishing population, who are turning to recreational fishing for an economic turnaround. download the pdf.


Horseshoe Crabs in Europe

ERDG in the News


Downe Township Becomes an ERDG Community Horseshoe Crab Sanctuary

New Jersey: Downe Township is the first community in New Jersey to set aside a portion of its Delaware Bay shoreline for the celebration and recognition of the importance of this ancient mariner. download the pdf.


Nature Center Invites Artists, Author for Marine Conservation Day

New Jersey: The Ecological Research and Development Group’s “Young Voices 2010, Horseshoe Crabs in the Arts” exhibition continues in the center’s Todd building, featuring youthful renderings of the horseshoe crab from around the world.  download the pdf.


Professor Harry Whittington Dies at 94

United Kingdom: Professor Harry Whittington, who died on June 20 aged 94, was the former Woodwardian Professor of Geology at Cambridge and the world’s leading authority on fossil trilobites; in later life he led painstaking research which revealed a “Cambrian explosion” and raised disturbing questions about the processes of evolution. download the pdf.


Horseshoe Crab Migration Numbers Appear to be Rising

Delaware: Migrating shorebirds discovered more horseshoe crab eggs on the beach this year than they have in many years, and it’s also good news for horseshoe crabs, whose numbers are increasing in Delaware waters. download the pdf.


Buddhists Pray for Delaware’s Horseshoe Crabs

Delaware: Ceremonial robes billowed in the breeze as about 70 Buddhists from Canada to North Carolina, gathered in this tiny waterfront village on Saturday to pray for the humble horseshoe crab. download the pdf.


Running For a Cause

Delaware: As she jogs the beach, Karen Allwood flips stranded crabs. download the pdf.


Leonard I. Rippa “Len” Dies at 82

Delaware: Leonard I. Rippa “Len” 82, of Smyrna, Delaware passed away February 22nd, 2010. Len served on the Executive Board of the Ecological Research and Development Group (ERDG) since its inception in 1995. His compassion and wisdom will be greatly missed. download pdf.