Looking for a volunteer opportunity that is a bit unusual? How about giving a helping hand to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MDDNR) as they survey the horseshoe crab population this spring/summer during their annual beach spawning event in the Mid-Atlantic region. The horseshoe crab spawning surveys are gaining more and more interest and have become a major effort in the conservation of this well-known arthropod.
What do you need to do? Visit the MDDNR horseshoe crab homepage for starters at
http://www.dnr.state.md.us/fisheries/general/hscpix/hscindex.htm. The site is well organized and contains information on the following topics:
- Horseshoe Crab Biology
- Spawning Survey
- Horseshoe Crab
- Horseshoe Crab Management
A visit to the web site will show you the details of how a spawning survey is performed and the forms for performing a survey are on-line so you can get a head start with your training. The beach spawning survey is coordinated with other states and helps to give an overall picture of where the horseshoe crabs are spawning from year to year and changes in the population within our coastal bays.