June 5, 2003 |
NO DOUBT the average Jersey Shore beach-goer has a limited amount of sympathy for horseshoe crabs. At midsummer, their hulking shells litter perfectly good wading areas, with the ones long dead smelling up the joint. But the secret is that the horseshoe crab, ugly and dull though it might seem, is one of the Shore's big life-savers. Endangered bird species may be saved from starvation by eating horseshoe crab eggs. Fishermen enhance their catch with horseshoe crab meat. And potential miracle drugs are tested with a compound from horseshoe crab blood.
April 4, 2008 |
Americana, both traditional and contemporary, will be highlighted at two major catalog auctions in the next 10 days. Both will delve into the wonders of wood. Freeman's will offer more than 400 lots of traditional American furniture and decorative and folk art beginning at 10 a.m. April 14 at its gallery, 1808 Chestnut St. A folk-art highlight is nine lots of carved shorebirds made about 1900 by the celebrated Tuckerton, N.J., artisan Harry V. Shourds. Among the birds is a rare black-bellied plover, expected to sell for $10,000 to $15,000.
February 26, 2006 |
The horseshoe crab - helmet-like and ungainly, a relic from the age of dinosaurs - was once harvested by the truckload. Nobody counted, and nobody really cared. Today, it is at the center of one of the most contentious fisheries debates in recent history on the Delaware Bay, with experts by the dozen arguing about how to manage the species. At stake is the survival of the red knot - an imperiled shorebird that depends on horseshoe crab eggs. But also at stake is the livelihood of watermen who use the crabs as conch bait and a conch processing industry which caters to Asian demand.
June 7, 2006 |
Just weeks ago, things looked dire for the red knot, a shorebird that stops to refuel on Delaware Bay's beaches during its migration from South America to its Arctic breeding grounds. Its numbers had plummeted from nearly 100,000 a decade ago, and an international team of researchers looked grim as a preliminary count came in: 8,000 red knots. Roughly half last year's numbers. Would this be the crash year? Now, they know it is not. With the final birds lifting off for the last leg of their journey north, researchers figure 13,000 red knots came to the bay this year.
May 1, 2005 |
In the next week or so, what could be the final fragment of a once-vast population of shorebirds - the red knots - will touch down on Delaware Bay beaches in search of food. Based on dire news about the bird, New Jersey officials have vowed to do all they can to make sure they get the nutrition they need, including patrolling some beaches to keep people away and stringing wire to keep off gulls. The red knots "have gone from an undeniably majestic display of nature to a tragic remnant," said Larry Niles, head of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's Endangered and Nongame Species Program.
September 15, 2000 |
Nelson Figueroa spun a four-hit shutout and scored the deciding run on Reggie Taylor's seventh-inning single as the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons blanked the host Indianapolis Indians, 1-0, last night. The win evens the best-of-five Triple A Governor's Cup finals series at 2-2. Figueroa (2-0), who entered the game a winner in his last four starts of the regular season and first of the postseason, struck out nine and walked only one to register the win. Taylor followed Figueroa's one-out double, the pitcher's second hit of the game, with a one-out RBI single into centerfield off of Horacio Estrada, giving Scranton the only run it needed.
March 7, 2011 |
In the awkward and contentious dance that wildlife advocates, fishing interests, and regulators are engaged in over the intertwined lives of the horseshoe crab and a tiny shorebird, New Jersey has taken the latest step. It has proposed to change the status of the bird, the red knot, from threatened to endangered. As a practical matter, this accomplishes little, adding no new protection measures. But state officials and others say it is nevertheless important as a formal recognition that despite years of efforts to help the bird, which stops at Delaware Bay every May to refuel, its numbers continue to decline.
August 22, 2004 |
On their last night in the Canadian arctic not long ago, Larry Niles and his research team huddled in tents, buffeted by 50-mile-an-hour winds and a raging summer blizzard. Not far away, at coordinates stored in a GPS unit, tiny shorebirds called red knots hunkered down in their nests. Niles, who heads the endangered-species program for the fish and wildlife division of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, figured that the birds would survive the storm. But for nearly a decade, he hasn't been sure they would survive mankind.
June 3, 2009 |
After more than a decade monitoring the steady decline of a small migratory shorebird called the red knot, researchers on Delaware Bay are finally hopeful. For the last several nights, the international crew of bird experts watched as flock after flock - sometimes hundreds of birds at once - lifted off and headed north, bound for their breeding grounds in the Arctic. "It was inspiring," said Larry Niles, the Department of Environmental Protection biologist who first drew attention to the bird's plight and who is now a consultant for the nonprofit Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.
June 6, 2004 |
Larry Niles and an international cadre of shorebird researchers took up residence in a Delaware Bay beach house three weeks ago with a burning question: How many red knots - small, plump shorebirds whose numbers have been plummeting in recent years - would return to the bay this spring? They finally have their answer: not nearly enough. In fact, fewer than ever. After an intensive research effort counting birds, catching them, then weighing, measuring and banding them and collecting feathers for analysis, the mystery of the vanishing red knots has only deepened.