Bill to protect shorebird

February 21, 2008 12:37:14 PM PST
Some New Jersey lawmakers want to save a threatened shorebird from extinction by protecting its food supply.

The legislators are pushing a bill that would ban the harvesting of horseshoe crabs in New Jersey. The crabs' eggs are the prime food for the red knot.

Earlier this month, the state Marine Fisheries Council rejected a proposed moratorium on the harvest of horseshoe crabs, setting the red knot on what bird-lovers say is a path to certain doom.

Red knots come to the Delaware Bay each spring after flying nonstop from Brazil. They feast on horseshoe crab eggs to nearly double their body weight in less than two weeks before flying to their breeding grounds in the Arctic.