A group of conservation organizations is building a base of red knot fans in the Delaware Bay. While this may sound like a strategy for a sports team, this group is dedicated to the conservation of a rare shorebird that faces serious declines in its populations.
The red knot (Calidris canutus ssp. rufa) stops to rest in the Delaware Bay during its 9,000-mile journey from their wintering grounds in the southern tip of South America to their breeding grounds in the Arctic. The Delaware Bay provides the crucial stopover habitat and food to fuel the red knot’s final leg to the Arctic. Year after year, the birds arrive here in May to feast on the eggs of horseshoe crabs.
“The conservation community has dedicated efforts to educate local communities about the importance of the Delaware Bay to migratory birds like the red knot,” says Caleb Spiegel, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shorebird biologist. “Despite the recent stability of the red knot population, it remains low and vulnerable to climate change.”
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Faced with a population crisis for red knots and other shorebirds that visit the Delaware Bay, these organizations are using an innovative approach to help protect this iconic bird.
“We’ve worked with our local partners on three campaigns in Patagonia, Argentina, for red knots,” says Charles Duncan, director of Manomet’s Shorebird Recovery Project. “The conservation outcomes are more than impressive. Now we want to replicate those successes at Delaware Bay.”
The campaign includes four distinct tactics, all designed to engage and empower the local community to act on behalf of the red knot and their own interests. …Read the rest of the story to learn about these tactics!