Volunteering to Monitor Horseshoe Crabs

Thinking about volunteering? We hope the video below will inspire you to participate in one of Avalonia’s many opportunities to volunteer in the natural world. It’s about a horseshoe crab monitoring program carried out by “citizen-scientists” annually in late spring or early summer when the moon is full or new, the tide is high, and horseshoe crabs are migrating from their wintering grounds to lay their eggs on local beaches.

Sacred Heart University’s biology department runs the program titled Project Limulus. The field research is conducted on sandy beaches in Long Island Sound. The video shows how volunteers with no experience learn how to identify, measure, and tag horseshoe crabs at Avalonia’s Sandy Point Nature Preserve, one of the primary spawning areas in southeastern Connecticut.

If this interests you, watch the video and then learn more about the experience here on Avalonia’s blog and then contact us. Or, you can simply go out to the beaches when the time is right and look for crabs with tags. Write down the tag number and submit it on the USFWS website: https://www.fws.gov/crabtag/

If horseshoe crabs aren’t for you, there are many other citizen-science projects you can participate in:  monarch butterfly sightings,  hummingbird sightings,  Frogwatch, and  Osprey nation.

For further inspiration, click here to read an alarming New York Times article, “The Silence of the Bugs,” about a global “insect Armageddon” about which we know very little because there are too few field naturalists studying the problem. “We are beginning to realize how lucky we are that dedicated expert and amateur naturalists remain to observe and record… But we need more of them, and soon.”

Video credits: John Anderson, formerly of Terramar Productions, provided us with this video produced and edited by Gerald H. Krausse in 2011.