Animal Rights Petitions

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Red Knot Under Threat


The red knot sandpiper is in danger of extinction.
A new report by the world's leading shorebird biologists confirms a 90 percent decline in the bird's population over the past ten years, leading scientists to predict that the red knot may become extinct as soon as 2010.

The red knot can fly extraordinary distances. On a wingspan of 20 inches, red knots can fly over 9,300 miles from the Arctic Circle to as far as Tierra del Fuego, South America, making this bird one of the longest-distance migrants in the animal kingdom.

Historically, more than 100,000 red knots stopped at Delaware Bay -- one of the most important migratory bird stopovers in the world -- to feast on horseshoe crab eggs each spring, to help power the final leg of their long flight. But because of a overharvest of horseshoe crabs over the past 15 years, supplies of horseshoe crab eggs have greatly diminished as have knot and other shorebird populations that also feed on horseshoe crab eggs.

Because of the red knot's highly precarious situation, it needs immediate protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

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