Volunteers Still Needed for 2005 Horseshoe Crab Spawning Survey

May 4, 2005

The Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve will once again coordinate the annual bay-wide horseshoe crab spawning survey on Ted Harvey Wildlife Area, Kitts Hummock, and North Bowers beaches.

2005 Horseshoe Crab Spawning Survey Dates where volunteers are still needed and High Tide Times:

Sunday, May 8, 10:26 p.m. Tuesday, May 10, 11:45 p.m. Saturday, May 21, 8:22 p.m. Wednesday, May 25, 11:37 p.m. Thursday, June 23, 11:20 p.m.

Please note that the times listed are the high tides for the Reserve coordinated beaches only. The St. Jones Reserve will be open approximately 1 hour prior to these times for volunteers to sign in, pick up materials, and meet their survey team. Pre-registration is required to assist.

New volunteers and past participants are encouraged to attend. Volunteers will learn how to conduct the survey, how to properly record data, and how to distinguish between male and female horseshoe crabs. Volunteers under age 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

Since 1990, surveys have been conducted of horseshoe crabs spawning in Delaware Bay. Despite the horseshoe crab's importance to the ecology of the Delaware Bay, little is known about its population status. Spawning surveys give scientists an index of the population to assist them in the
management of the species. Now, every spring on several peak spawning days, volunteers donate their time to count crabs on key beaches in Delaware and in New Jersey.

For more information or to register for the training, please contact Reserve staff Katie Froning or Katy O’Connell, at (302) 739-3436. Visit http://www.lsc.usgs.gov/aeb/2065/ for information on Horseshoe Crab Monitoring.

The Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve is a partnership between the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The Reserve is administered through the Delaware Coastal Programs Section of DNREC’s Division of Soil and Water Conservation.

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