The Florida Horseshoe Crab Watch
The Florida Horseshoe Crab Watch is a combined effort between the Florida Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) and University of Florida (UF) that trains volunteers to assist biologists in surveying, tagging and resighting Florida’s nesting horseshoe crab populations using a standardized scientific protocol. FWRI and volunteers have been running the program in Charlotte County since 2019, and Florida Sea Grant took over in 2023.
Horseshoe crabs come ashore to mate and nest at the high tides during full and new moons. Consequently, Florida Horseshoe Crab Watch Shore surveys take place during the day-time high tides at specific times during spring and summer. In person trainings will take place before each fall sampling season and are required for first time participants. Thank you to those of you who made it to training in August 12th, 2023! Those who didn’t make it to training or would like to refresh their memory on survey procedures may complete an online training module at their own pace.
Fall 2023 and Spring 2024 surveys will take place exclusively at Bayshore Live Oak. Help us scout additional sites by surveying sandy areas in the harbor at high tide and recording any sightings on the FWC Reporter App. Android users can report using this link.
Use the above Google Sheet links above to sign up for as many or as few survey times as you would like. There are no minimums or maximum requirements. Surveys typically go best with at least 3 people, but more can often be useful to answer questions from curious bystanders. We’d like to make sure we have at least one team present at each survey time, but don’t be afraid to join other groups or individuals. We encourage newcomers to team up with experienced crab cronies!
Survey data is collected exclusively using ArcGISSurvey123, which can be downloaded from the Apple and Android app store. Review the online tutorial before your first survey and contact a member of the Florida Sea Grant Charlotte county Team with any technical difficulties or questions.
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