Friday, January 06, 2006

Red Knot legislation - Help Needed


(Red Knot at Nine Springs / Madison on August 28th, 2002)

From Alicia Craig of the Bird Conservation Alliance:

An important piece of legislation is scheduled to be introduced in early January, and your help is needed to let elected officials in Virginia know that the legislation has support country wide.

The issue: Moratorium legislation to help prevent the extinction of the Red Knot rufa subspecies.

Legislation will be introduced in early January to declare a moratorium on landings and importation of horseshoe crabs in Virginia. The Chief Patron or sponsor of the bill is Delegate H. Morgan Griffith (R), the Majority Leader of the House of Delegates.

The Griffith bill will declare a moratorium on landings or importation of horseshoe crabs in Virginia until the Red Knot rufa subspecies reaches its target population of 240,000 birds.

Red Knot Population Information: Red Knots on the Delaware Bay declined from 100,000 in 1990 to 15,000 in 2005. The decline in Red Knots is specifically related to the over fishing of horseshoe crab targeting egg-bearing female crabs. The result was a decrease in horseshoe crab eggs available to foraging shorebirds and is the major cause of the decline of the Red Knot population.

The Red Knot makes one of the longest migratory trips of a bird species - approximately 18,000 miles roundtrip. Red Knots feed almost exclusively on horseshoe crab eggs during spring migration on Delaware Bay beaches.

Link: More information from the Bird Conservation Alliance

Link: All about the Red Knot from Cornell Lab

Microsoft Word Documents (provided by Bill Mueller):

File: Sample Letter you can use

File: Key Virginia Delegates

File: Legislation Talking Points

Red Knot image © 2006 Michael Allen McDowell

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