Red knots, horseshoe crabs & the Delaware Bay
June 18, 2012
Spawning season for horseshoe crabs in the Delaware Bay Estuary and Cape May shoreline is coming to a close, ending the annual natural phenomenon of beaches clogged with the prehistoric creatures, often attached in an eons-old mating ritual. Darting around them and snapping up their eggs from the sand are endangered red knots, a bird whose existence is intertwined with the horseshoe crab’s success. On today’s Radio Times, we’ll check in on the health of these two fascinating species and their importance to the Delaware Bay ecosystem. Joining us will be red-knot experts LAWRENCE NILES, wildlife biologist with Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey; and AMANDA DEY, a principal zoologist for the State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. They are co-authors, with Joanna Burger, of “Life Along the Delaware Bay: Cape May, Gateway to a Million Shorebirds.” We’ll also talk to DANIEL HERNANDEZ, assistant professor of Biology at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and principal researcher of the Delaware Bay Horseshoe Crab Spawning Survey.