24 February 2012 Red Knots Added to New Jersey Endangered Species List Posted by: Caitlin Leutwiler | Leave a comment | Share: Hunkered down in their Southern Hemisphere wintering grounds, red knots may be out of sight. But the plight of the shorebird is certainly not out of mind. Just this week, the state of New Jersey added the red knot to its list of endangered species. It’s been almost a year since the state initially proposed the uplisting from threatened to endangered. And in that time, population numbers for the shorebird have continued their downward spiral. It’s hard to believe that less than two decades ago, more than 100,000 red knots filled the skies of Delaware Bay. Today, only 13,000 remain. Wildlife officials said that the new status does not add protections for the birds. However, it is formal recognition that despite years of efforts to help the bird–including a 2008 New Jersey state-instituted moratorium on horseshoe crab fishing–its numbers continue to decline. With any luck, the listing will get the attention of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), who decided last July to speed up the initiation of the process to formally add the rufa subspecies of red knot to the list of threatened and endangered species. Since 2005, four formal requests to list the red knot under the Endangered Species Act have been submitted to the FWS. Citing a lack of resources and other priorities, the FWS failed to list the bird but placed it on the candidate list in 2006, where it has languished ever since. Unlike the state listing, a listing under the federal Endangered Species Act would offer some real protections for the birds. It would initiate the development of a recovery plan and require federal agencies whose actions affect red knots to consult with the FWS. With the shorebird continuing its slide toward extinction, such actions may be the last hope for red knots. Learn more: Watch Defenders join efforts on the ground to protect the imperiled red knot: Post Your Comment Click here to cancel reply. Name (required) Mail (required) (will not be published) You May also be interested in How Should We Honor Earth Day? America has many worldwide firsts in conservation: we were the first nation to establish a national park, the first to create a national wildlife refuge, the first to approve a law protecting endangered species and the first to create a national day dedicated to conservation, Earth Day. But today, we are experiencing another period of crisis in America’s commitment to conservation. When did conservation become a polarizing political issue, when it has been, for the past century, a defining characteristic of American values and the American spirit? Ecological Insults and Injuries Revealed Four Years after Deepwater Horizon Four years after the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig spilled millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, we’re beginning to see the full scope of how this ecological disaster is impacting our wildlife on land, air and sea. Wolf Weekly Wrap- Up California wavering on protection for gray wolves under state law; Defenders of Wildlife featured on the HLN’s Jane Velez-Mitchell show tonight; A close up look at the science: wolf breeding pairs in Idaho; bad bills for Mexican gray wolves in Arizona.