The Red Knot, known for it's long migrations- about 9,300 miles- is currently being discussed by the U.S. Fish and Widlife Service (FWS), which has proposed to list the species as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The species' population has plummeted in the past thirteen years. Wintering bird surveys from the Red Knot's annual wintering grounds in South America show that the wintering population has dropped dramatically in the the 2000's. The most noticeable decline occured in 2011, where surveys show that nearly one-third of the species' wintering poulation disappeared, leaving only approximately 10,000 Red Knots remaining. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service used data from New Jersey's Department of Environmental Protection to aid in their decision to propose to list the Red Knot as threatened, according to DEP spokesman Larry Hajna.
“New Jersey has been at the forefront of protecting the red knot and other shorebirds for decades... With the benefit of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service State Wildlife Grants, the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife has been able to study the red knot's decline and take actions to try to stop it, such as work earlier this year to restore critical beaches along Delaware Bay that were damaged by Superstorm Sandy." Hajna said.
A 60-day period for commenting on the proposal opened on Friday, October 4th..
Red Knot Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Cover photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons