Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Red Knot Worthy of Protection, But Not Yet Listed

This week the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a report on the status of the red knot, a shorebird that has declined precipitously in the last decade. The report acknowledges that red knots are in serious trouble; the population has sunk from 100,000-150,000 birds in the early 1990s to 18,000-33,000 today. The decline has been driven by overharvesting of horseshoe crabs around the Delaware Bay, a crucial migration stopover, as well as disturbance on wintering grounds in southern South America. Despite the clear need for protection, the Service continues to reject listing the red knot under the Endangered Species Act because they conclude that other unlisted species are in greater need of help. Instead, the report advises conservation actions to be undertaken by federal and state agencies and nongovernmental organizations within the next three years.

You can read the full report (and other related documents) online here.