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Conservation Status

Conservation Status

Why do we need to protect horseshoe crabs?

[Thousands of horseshoe crab adults gathered on a beach of Delaware Bay to mate and lay eggs during breeding season]
Thousands of horseshoe crab adults gathered on a beach of Delaware Bay to mate and lay eggs during breeding season (by Bill Hall).

Although the horseshoe crab is not considered as an "endangered" species according to the "Red List" of the International Union of the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), its population has dropped dramatically worldwide since the last decade. In Delaware Bay of North America, the number of horseshoe crabs on some beaches decreased by 90% in five years. In Japan, it is estimated that only 2,000 to 4,000 horseshoe crabs are left.

Since horseshoe crabs take a long time to reach sexual maturity (10-15 years), the impact on their population will not become apparent until at least 10 years later. If we don't care and protect them now, horseshoe crabs may become extinct before we realize it.

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Last Review Date : 09 August 2013