Birds with local ties dwindling

February 3, 2008 8:22:52 AM PST
A team of New Jersey researchers counting red knots at their wintering grounds in South America found far fewer birds than in prior years.

The researchers are from the Wetlands Institute and Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.

During a two-week expedition to Tierra del Fuego that ended January 18th, they counted fewer than 1,000 red knots.

The robin-sized birds feed on horseshoe crab eggs in the Delaware Bay during their annual springtime migration from the Arctic to South America, a 10,000-mile journey.

New Jersey lists the bird as threatened.

The Department of Environmental Protection recently moved to extend a 2006 moratorium on horseshoe-crab harvesting indefinitely.

Some fishermen argue there is no proof a lack of eggs is causing the red knot population decline.


Information from: The Press of Atlantic City,