Conservation and Restoration of Estuaries and Coasts: Horseshoe Crabs as Flagship Species

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Book Chapter

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This chapter summarizes and expands on a research roundtable co-sponsored by the IUCN Horseshoe Crab Specialist Group, Nature Society (Singapore), and the Mangrove Action Project during the 2016 IUCN World Congress in Honolulu, Hawaii. Our central premise is that horseshoe crabs can serve as a flagship species for the conservation and restoration of several ecologically significant nearshore habitats, including estuarine beaches, mangroves, salt marshes, and tidal flats, all of which are being lost or degraded from coastal development and climate change. Horseshoe crabs are suitable as a flagship species because of their importance as a “living fossil,” their role in the nearshore food web, and their significant economic importance. Workshop participants from North America and Asia highlighted case histories and discussed the ways that horseshoe crab science and public education can join together to promote coastal marine conservation.


In International Horseshoe Crab Conservation and Research Efforts: 2007- 2020.