Penfield Road, Fairfield, CT
Young Professionals Horseshoe Crab Tagging at Penfield Beach
June 06, 2013
10:30 p.m. to midnight
Penfield Beach, Fairfield, Connecticut
It’s time for the return of one of our most popular volunteer opportunities – horseshoe crab tagging!
If you live by the coast, you’re probably familiar with horseshoe crabs, also known as “living fossils.” What you may not know is that these crabs are vital to our ecosystem – their eggs are a primary food source for the threatened Red Knot – and our health, since their copper-based blood is used to test pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines for bacterial contamination.
However, recent studies suggest horseshoe crab populations may be declining, which is why annual surveys of their numbers are so important. That’s where we come in!
The Nature Conservancy coordinates tagging and surveying efforts at Penfield Beach in Fairfield and helps train volunteers across the state. The data we collect contributes to a coast-wide effort, coordinated through the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service, that helps scientists better understand population trends, movement patterns and habitat preferences for these animals.
The crabs only come ashore in large numbers in the spring, when they are drawn to beaches during the full moon and high tide to mate.
Our job will be to walk down the beach with headlamps or flashlights and count the number of male and female crabs, record any tags we see and attach new tags to naked crabs.
Ready to count and tag? Please RSVP to Cara Chancellor at [masked] by Tuesday, June 4.