Can Long-Distance Migrating Shorebird Survive?
Rufa red knot faces depletion of its food sources and its Arctic breeding grounds.
For this incredible voyage, Calidris canutus needs fuel, and a lot of it. As it happens, one of its main food supplies, the eggs of horseshoe crabs in the Delaware Bay, where the birds recharge for the final leg of their journey, has become scarce, and red knot populations are suffering.
The population declines are bad enough that last Friday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) officially proposed "threatened" status for the rufa red knot under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
In a press conference, FWS director Dan Ashe explained that in some areas surveyed, red knot populations "have declined by about 75 percent since the 1980s, with the steepest declines happening after 2000."
Experts from the Fish and Wildlife Service