Spawning Horseshoe Crab Surveys
What are spawning horseshoe crab surveys?
Horseshoe crabs are “living fossils” – they have been around since the age of the dinosaurs. In modern times, their unique blue blood has become important to the biomedical industry to test for impurities in drugs, and they serve as bait in the eel and whelk fisheries. Because of overharvesting for these industries, their population is in jeopardy. Many states along the Atlantic coast have developed programs to manage their horseshoe crab populations.
In spite of this interest, little is known about the population of horseshoe crabs in New Hampshire’s Great Bay Estuary. Citizen scientists are playing a big role in filling in this critical gap in knowledge. Volunteers have partnered with UNH researchers to study the population of Great Bay horseshoe crabs in 2012, 2013, and from 2016 through the present.
What do Horseshoe Crab Survey Volunteers do?
Join our spawning horseshoe crab survey efforts!
Links, resources, and partner organizations
Check out this publication from NH Fish and Game about the fascinating life cycle of horseshoe crabs, and read this summary of some of the findings that have emerged from past volunteer horseshoe crab surveys!
Stay in touch with the Great Bay horseshoe crab project by following their Facebook page.