Horseshoe Crabs – Ancient Mariners


May 6th, 6pm @ The Sturgis Library


horseshoe crabs

Horseshoe Crabs – Ancient Mariners

Audubon’s Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary’s Ian Ives

Horseshoe Crab Ecology:  Horseshoe Crabs have been around for 350  million years, adapting to and withstanding every conceivable change time has presented.  They have a critical role in the lives of the Red Knot, a migratory shorebird, and are important to biomedical research and the pharmaceutical industry.  Learn about their life histories and recent decline in North America.

Join Mass Audubon’s Ian Ives for a presentation on Horseshoe Crabs! In a mass May migration, horseshoe crabs journey to the bays, coves, and tidal flats of Cape Cod to spawn and to lay clusters of eggs. Many creatures including migrating shorebirds rely on the eggs for high calorie boosts, enabling them to continue their flight to Arctic nesting grounds.

Unfortunately, the migrating hordes of horseshoe crabs of yesteryear have become fewer and fewer each. They suffer from uncontrolled harvest as bait for the eel and conch fisheries, collection for the biomedical industry, and changes to their habitat.

Mass Audubon’s Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary will be conducting a horseshoe crab spawning survey in Barnstable Harbor to help us determine if the population is sustaining itself and to inform harvest limits aimed at stabilizing the population.