Horseshoe Crab Survey & Tagging

Join us for a one-of-a-kind volunteer opportunity to help protect some of our ocean's most unique and historic inhabitants!

Horseshoe crabs are vital to our ecosystem–for example, their eggs are a primary food source for the threatened Red Knot bird–and also to our health, since their copper-based blood is used to test pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines.

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. (Yes, we’ll effectively be spying on them in the bedroom.)

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–completely optional for the brave souls among us–attach new tags to naked crabs.

Ready to count and tag? Please RSVP by Thursday, May 31, and include whether you think you’re interested in tagging crabs, so we can be sure to bring enough tags.

Questions? Email Cara Chancellor at [masked].

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  • Greg C.

    Had an enjoyable time and learned a lot at this meetup. Those crabs were storming the beach towards the end! Definitely hope to continue participating with this group.

    June 3, 2012

  • Christine

    In Torrington - forecast said it is supposed to be clear here now, they were wrong. At this point it is doubtful that I can make it because of the late notice.

    June 2, 2012

  • Christine

    Is this happening tonight or tomorrow? Pouring here ...

    June 2, 2012

  • Christine

    Any chance a decision can be made about this event happening today before 8pm? Some of us are traveling over an hour & need more notice, thanks!

    June 2, 2012

  • rebbecca t.

    How long will you be tagging, I might be able to meet up later in the day. I allready paid for an event for June 2nd. my cell[masked] to call or text on the 2nd thanks :)

    May 29, 2012

  • Greg C.

    I'll tag crabs

    May 27, 2012

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