Capacity building on horseshoe crabs

Written on . Posted in Biodiversity, Marine conservation

6 March 2015 / Dr. Paul Shin and Dr. S.G. Cheung, Associate Professors of the Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University Hong Kong kindly met with Vickie and Jenna to build capacity on horseshoe crab surveying of Tai Tam this coming summer.

Horseshoe crabs are known as “living fossils” first appearing some 450 million years ago in the Ordovician era- well before the dinosaurs! There are now 4 species worldwide and in Hong Kong you can find two, the Chinese horseshoe crab (Tachypleus tridentatus) and Mangrove horseshoe crab (Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda).

Asian horseshoe crabs are listed as IUCN Data Deficient but the IUCN Horseshoe Crab Specialist Group established in 2012 is making progress towards revising their Red List Status. This is needed to form an effective international conservation management strategy, see this 2013 article.

After thorough discussion about our local substrate and geography we agreed on a suitable survey strategy. After that we were privileged to be given a tour of the lab including the crab tracking technology!

This is a citizen science-friendly survey, interested schools email us if you’d like to get involved. We can’t wait to share what we find!

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