Protect Threatened Shorebirds From Extinction

Target: Robert E. Beal, Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, Executive Director

Goal: Stop harvesting horseshoe crabs for bait and save red knots from extinction.

In the last 40 years, the population of red knots on the beaches of Delaware Bay has dropped from 90,000 to an all-time low of only 7,000. Despite valiant efforts to save this species, their numbers have dwindled to near extinction. While there are many factors contributing to the demise of this shorebird, the harvesting of horseshoe crabs for the bait industry is one reason we are seeing fewer birds each year.

The eggs of horseshoe crabs provide vital food for the birds during their long migration. While regulations restrict the harvest of female crabs, these rules are rarely enforced, and too many of the males and young are taken off the beaches each year.

Sign this petition to immediately stop the harvest of all horseshoe crabs, and help save threatened shorebirds such as the red knot.


Dear Mr. Beal,

I am appealing to you to stop allowing horseshoe crabs to be harvested for bait. As I am sure you are aware, the loss of even the smallest creature can have huge implications on entire ecosystems. In this case, taking horseshoe crabs from the beaches of America has detrimental effects on the red knots. This shorebird relies on horseshoe crabs as a vital food source during its long migration from the arctic. In the last 40 years, the population of the red knot has decreased from 90,000 to a mere 7,000. While there are many factors at play, continuing to allow horseshoe crabs to be harvested for the bait industry is a reckless and short-sighted decision that fuels a non-essential industry at the expense of a nearly endangered species.

I urge you to immediately ban the harvest of all horseshoe crabs in your jurisdiction.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: USFWS Endangered Species

One Comment

  1. The Red Knot is an AMAZING bird. It has one of the longest migrations of all species. It flies 9,000 miles from Tierra del Fuego in South America to the Arctic where it nests. It only stops in Delaware to feed. It has been dropping in numbers for years due to its lack of food at its rest stop. We can’t let another species fall by the wayside.

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