News Archives

Archive for 2013

Horseshoe Crabs in the Americas


New Refit Plan for Broadkill Beach

Delaware: State regulators have loosened some environmental restrictions for a federal widening of vulnerable Broadkill Beach, after a more-traditional Army Corps of Engineers contract offer failed to attract any bidders earlier this year. download the pdf.


Prime Hook: Plan Will Rebuild Saltwater System

Delaware: U.S. Fish & Wildlife officials have decided the best course of action to rebuild the decimated marshes is to return the refuge to what it once was. During a standing-room only public workshop Nov. 13 at the Milford library, officials presented for the first time the science behind the plan to restore the refuge. By Ron MacArthur | Nov 15, 2013| Cape Gazette. download the pdf.


Prohibition on Possession or use of Asian Horseshoe Crabs

Delaware: The purpose of this action seeks to define and prevent the possession and use of Asian horseshoe crabs to protect human health and the shellfish resources of the State of Delaware. download the pdf.


ECOs Arrests Lead To Felony Charges Against Horseshoe Crabbers

New York: Three Patchogue men are facing criminal charges after a nighttime surveillance effort by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) found these individuals had illegally harvested nearly 1,500 horseshoe crabs in the course of one night. download the pdf.


It’s Dark, but We See You: Release the Horseshoe Crabs

New York: The poachers have become a problem in New York in recent years, said Marin Hawk, who deals with the management of horseshoe crabs at the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. Since New Jersey instated a moratorium on taking the animals in 2008, she said, demand has increased in other states where they can be taken, but only inside of strict quotas and with proper licenses. Such licenses were not found on the men in Jamaica Bay, the authorities said. download the pdf.


Researchers Declare Success in 15-Year Quest for Artificial Bait

Delaware: For more than 15 years, University of Delaware researcher Nancy Targett has been on an odd and elusive quest to identify just what it is in the scent of a horseshoe crab that makes it such an alluring bait. download the pdf.


Horseshoe Crabs in Asia


Concern Over Dwindling Horseshoe Crab Population

India: The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) has planned to request the Central government to declare horseshoe crab habitats in the country as ecologically sensitive. download the pdf.


Data Collection at Similajau National Park Borneo

Borneo: Awang Zainuddin releasing a mating pair of horseshoe crabs after measuring and recording their measurements. Specimens which have been caught are marked so the researchers know which ones have been caught previously. download the pdf.


Bleeding, Bait and Birdfood: Challenges for the World’s Horseshoe Crabs

The Asian species of horseshoe crabs are currently listed on the IUCN Red List as Data Deficient, but given the overwhelmingly pessimistic reports, it seemed imperative to establish a Horseshoe Crab SSG to review the available data and update these assessments, as a first step towards developing comprehensive conservation strategies for all four species. download the pdf.


Attempt to Smuggle Rare Crabs Foiled in Jambi

Malaysia: Jambi Police officers seized 2,935 horseshoe crabs, locally known as belangkas or mimi, in an operation on Friday. A truck loaded with the crabs, which are declared protected species by the government, was intercepted by the officers when it crossed into the Aur Duri area. download the pdf.


Horseshoe Crabs in Europe

ERDG in the News


Proposed Listing of the Red Knot as a Threatened Species Under the Endangered Species Act

Delaware Bay: Many of you – particularly those from North America – are aware of the importance of horseshoe crab eggs as food for migratory shorebirds, especially in Delaware Bay.  The US Fish and Wildlife Service has recently proposed that one of these shorebirds, the Red Knot, be listed as a Threatened Species under the Endangered Species Act.  Such action could have important implications for the future conservation of American horseshoe crabs.

We attach a copy of our letter to the USFWS, expressing our support for the proposed listing of the Red Knot.  While we support the measure, we do raise several concerns that should be addressed if and when the listing is approved.   download the pdf.
Mark L. Botton, Ph.D., Co-Chairman (North America)
IUCN Horseshoe Crab Specialist Group
Paul K. S. Shin, Ph.D., Co-Chairman (Southeast Asia)
IUCN Horseshoe Crab Specialist Group


Horseshoe Crabs Tagged for Research Along Atlantic Coast

Delaware: Today, biologists, biomedical companies and commercial harvesters study horseshoe crabs. Everyday people who walk along the beaches can assist researchers by reporting the location of tagged crabs they find – about 2,000 to 3,000 calls are reported annually. download the pdf.


Comparative Approaches to Horseshoe Crab Ecology and Conservation in North America and Southeast Asia

IUCN Horseshoe Crab SSG steering committee members Mark Botton, Paul Shin, Siu Gin Cheung, and Ruth Carmichael organized a Special Session entitled, “Comparative Approaches to Horseshoe Crab Ecology and Conservation in North America and Southeast Asia,” at the recent Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation meeting in San Diego, CA.  A total of 25 papers on horseshoe crabs were presented, with contributions from the U.S., Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Japan.  For titles and abstracts download the pdf.


An Animal-free Alternative Method for Endotoxin Detection

Building on ERDG’s presentation at the International Workshop on the Science and Conservation of Asian Horseshoe Crabs in 2011, and ERDG’s focus on gaining the support of the LAL/TAL endotoxin detection industry as horseshoe crab conservation partners, this webiar in partnership with Lonza, was given to a global audience of pharmaceutical and medical device producers. Webinar: PyroGene™ Recombinant Factor C Assay – An Animal-free Method for Endotoxin Detection


Young Voices, Horseshoe Crabs and the Arts 2013

Delaware: Our annual juried arts competition invites students from around the world to submit poems, tales and images in appreciation and celebration of the remarkable horseshoe crab. Through the arts, our future environmental stewards have a voice which is heard globally. This year we received 450 entries from five countries, Japan, Hong Kong, Norway, Mexico and the USA. Our judges selected 35 of the most compelling artwork from each grade level that entered. download the pdf.


Ban On Imports

Delaware: No state, federal or international laws were broken, when a container filled with 2,000 horseshoe crabs harvested in Thailand arrived at a port in New York bound for the bait market in 2011. Thousands more horseshoe crabs, harvested in Vietnam, were imported the following year. download the pdf.


PyroGene™ Recombinant Factor C Assay – An Animal-free Alternative Method for Endotoxin Detection

Maryland: Hear Glenn Gauvry, President of The Ecological Research & Development Group (ERDG), discuss the importance of horseshoe crab conservation. The demand on the American and the Asian horseshoe crabs is steadily increasing while the Asian horseshoe crab species population is in decline. download the pdf.


SSC Marine Species Newsletter

The attached newsletter is a product of the IUCN SSC Marine Conservation Sub-Committee (MCSC) and is aimed at the marine members of SSC. It complements the Global Marine and Polar Programme’s annual newsletter, Marine News, and focuses more specifically on species issues. The richness of this newsletter is a testament to the expanding work within IUCN on marine species. download the pdf.


Buddhist Bless Horseshoe Crabs

Delaware: Buddhists gather on Pickering Beach, Delaware to conduct a Horseshoe Crab Rescue and Blessing Dharma Assembly. Every year hundreds of thousands of horseshoe crabs die from being stranded up-side-down on the beaches of the Delaware Bay and along the Atlantic coast from Maine to Florida as they come ashore to spawn, unable to return to their marine habitat. This ceremony, led by Rinpoche’s from the Dharmadhatu Center of Delaware and the Tathagata Dharma Association of Maryland, together with buddhists from five states, bless these animals, while those attending the ceremony help enable the stranded ones return to the sea. This is the fifth year the Dharmadhatu Center has held such a ceremony in Delaware. Watch Video 3ec7b7150a


Nat Geo Wild Special Showing of “Dino Crabs”

New York: Meet several of the scientists in the show that will be airing on Nat Geo Wild. download the pdf.


Horseshoe Crabs – Things You Might Just Find Interesting

Delaware: The lecture series, “An Evening at the Hook”, continues its 10th anniversary celebration with “Horseshoe Crabs – Things You Might Just Find Interesting” on Thursday, May 9, 2013, at 7:00 PM. Hosted by Glenn Gauvry, Executive Director of Ecological Research & Development Group. download the pdf.


New Jersey Audubon Society Partners with the ERDG to Promote the Just flip ’em!® Program

New Jersey: The New Jersey Audubon will offer beach walks in May designed to educate attendees about simple steps beachgoers can take to promote horseshoe crab conservation along the Delaware Bay. The walks will introduce the Just flip ‘em!® program, begun in 1998 by Delaware-based ERDG, a non-profit wildlife conservation organization whose primary focus is the conservation of the world’s four horseshoe crab species. download the pdf.


Horseshoe Crab Sanctuary Rededication

New Jersey: Downe Township is the first New Jersey community to participate in ERDG’s community-based Horseshoe Crab Sanctuary program, which also includes seven Bayshore communities in Delaware . In 2009, Downe Township voted 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.


Import Ban Sought on Asian Crabs

New York: In another twist in the long-running debate over how to manage the population of horseshoe crabs along the East Coast, fisheries officials are calling for a ban on imports of three Asian species of the ancient arthropods. download the pdf.


Virginia: On February 20, 2013, ERDG in partnership with the IUCN Horseshoe Crab Specialist Group, of which ERDG is a member, made a presentation to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) Horseshoe Crab Management Board, with the purpose of gaining support to stop the practice of importing horseshoe crabs from Asia, to be used as bait in the conch fishery.

Following ERDG’s presentation, Marin Hawk ASMFC FMP Coordinator, presented the minutes from the Horseshoe Crab Technical Committee conference call held two weeks ago with Mark L. Botton Ph.D Co-Chair of the IUCN Horseshoe Crab Specialist Group and Glenn Gauvry of ERDG, with the purpose of becoming better informed about the importation problem and to explore potential solutions.

The presentations were followed by discussion, which resulted in three motions being offered and voted upon (see attached). On February 21, 2013 the Policy Board was to meet and pass a resolution to encourage states to ban the practice of importing horseshoe crabs from Asia, which did occur (see attached). download the pdf.


Annual Report of the Horseshoe Crab Specialist Group for 2012

IUCN: We are pleased to provide you with this annual update of the Horseshoe Crab Species Specialist Group.  Although in existence for less than one year, the Horseshoe Crab Species Specialist Group is making significant progress toward the goal of updating the Red List status for horseshoe crabs, particularly the three Southeast Asian species that are currently regarded as “data deficient.” A current membership listing for the SSG is included with this document. download the pdf.