UNH Studies Habits of Horseshoe Crabs for Preservation

May 9, 2016


The University of New Hampshire has made some discoveries about the spawning habits of horseshoe crabs, which are valued for their use in pharmaceutical research.

Only four species of the crabs remain. Their preservation depends upon proper management of their spawning habitat, which can be challenging due to increased development near beaches.

UNH has found that Atlantic horseshoe crabs in New Hampshire's Great Bay Estuary time their annual spawning based on water temperature, not lunar cycles, as was more commonly thought.

The study could lead to changes in how monitoring surveys of the crabs are conducted on the East Coast.