Red crabs “not defending their turf” — “We don’t know where the crabs went, or why” says expert


Are Red Crabs the Latest Victims of the Gulf Oil Disaster?, National Wildlife Federation blog, December 14, 2010:

Since the Gulf oil disaster there’s evidence of health and behavior changes in the native red crab population. “They’re not defending their turf,” said Harriet Perry, director of the Center for Fisheries Research and Development at Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (GCRL) in Ocean Springs, Miss. ...

The real surprise came when traps brought up Bathynomus instead of the previously abundant red crab... most of the Bathynomus were dead on arrival or close to it. Within days all were dead. ...

[T]here’s no immediate funding to support new trapping sets. “We don’t know where the crabs went, or why,” said Perry. ...

What’s most worrisome is that the unexpected displacement of red crabs by Bathynomus may be an indication of other post-oil-spill surprises to come.

Read the report here.

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