Keeping tabs on the local population

Thu, 06/27/2019 - 3:30pm

Every year, during the months of May and June, about 50 crabs are tagged on Block Island by the members of The Nature Conservancy.

Horseshoe crabs are tagged by drilling a small hole into the shell and snapping a tag in.

Horseshoe crabs are interesting creatures. They’ve existed for over 430 million years. Their blood has a heavy copper content, which gives it a blueish tone. Their blood does not flow through veins, but freely throughout their bodies, and is a powerful protector against infection.

Why do we tag horseshoe crabs? The tags help calculate the local population and track the cause of any changes to that population.

The event was fun, and educational. “I liked it. It was fun holding one,” said one participant. “It was very interactive; a great learning experience.” said another.

Horseshoe crab tagging events will be held at 6 a.m. on Sunday, June 30 and at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, July 2 at Andy’s Way.