Molloy seeks volunteers for horseshoe crab inventory

In an effort to protect a species that has survived the mass extinction of the dinosaurs, Dr. John T. Tanacredi, Director of Molloy College's Center for Environmental Research and Coastal Oceans Monitoring (CERCOM), and Molloy seeks volunteers for horseshoe crab inventoryprofessor of BCES is leading the fourteenth year of inventory at 111 sites on Long Island, ranging from Montauk to Brooklyn. The horseshoe crab inventory counts will take place on May 21, June 5, 20, and July 4. Prior to the taking inventory, a short training session will be given to volunteers. One training session will be on April 22, 2016, at the Earth Day Colloquium at Molloy College at 12:30 p.m., in Kellenberg Hall, Room K106. For more information on volunteering, and other training dates, please contact Mr. Sixto Portilla at sportilla@molloy.edu or 516.323.3590.

As noted in Dr. Tanacredi's book, Biology and Conservation of Horseshoe Crabs, horseshoe crabs around the world face a set of common and growing threats, including overfishing, habitat loss and alteration, and pollution.  Horseshoe crabs provide a chemical, LAL, which is used in hospitals to detect bacterial contamination. Also, the eggs of horseshoe crabs feed tens of millions of migrating shore birds each year, including ones that may be on the verge of endangerment.

"Over the last 16 years there has been considerable controversy over the extent to which horseshoe crab harvesting has impacted the species' existence," said Dr. Tanacredi. "Long Island historically has had a robust population of horseshoe crabs, but today it is a mere skeletal population, a trend that is world-wide."