Publication Date

5-23-2013

Advisor(s)

Marc Eisner

Major

Government

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

Every year, shorebirds like the red knot make a remarkable roundtrip migration from the southernmost tip of South America to the Canadian Arctic. Their survival is dependent on the mid-migration nourishment of horseshoe crab eggs. With the world's largest concentration of horseshoe crabs, Delaware Bay serves as the principal migratory stopover for shorebirds. Due to horseshoe crab overharvesting by fishing and pharmaceutical industries, shorebird populations are rapidly declining. This thesis examines the political aspect of shorebird conservation. Limitations in the institutional architecture of federal statutes and public regulators, compounded by the difficulty of funding nongame species management, have made shorebird conservation a challenge. In response, public and private environmental organizations in Delaware Bay have formed ad hoc collaborative partnerships to improve horseshoe crab management and prevent shorebird extinction.

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