The perils of the Red Knot subspecies rufa

To: "birding aus" <>
Subject: The perils of the Red Knot subspecies rufa
From: "Ricki Coughlan" <>
Date: Tue, 7 Feb 2006 13:52:47 +1100
Sad tidings birdlovers
The plight of the Red Knot subspecies rufa has recently taken another blow.
This sub-species of the Red Knot is a fantastic species which migrates from as far as the southernmost shores of South America up to the Arctic circle each year with very few stop-overs along the way. Since time immemorial one of its stop-overs on its northward migration has been Delaware Bay, where it feeds upon the eggs of what were once millions of breeding Horseshoe Crabs. Unfortunately, since the early 1990's, the crabs and their eggs have become the target of fisherman and this has robbed the beautiful Red Knots of a vital food source. The result has been a population crash of more than 90% over the past ten years (figures from a 20 year study). The crash in population coincides perfectly with the robbing of their food resource.
A number of US conservation organisations recently joined to petition the Bush administration to grant an emergency Endangered Species listing for the Red Knot. Well, the outcome was predictable wasn't it . . .
Excellent images of this Red Knot can be found at:
Notes on the fascinating foraging tools of Red Knots can be found at
It looks like time may have well run out for this beautiful bird.
Ricki Coughlan
Lyrebird Tours
Sydney, Australia
p: +61 2 9453 2274
m: 0400 436 910
ABN 50 515 608 903
avian surveys . birding tours . birding courses . avian presentations
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