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Horseshoe Crab

Funding Research on Horseshoe Crab Conservation

Horseshoe crabs are an ancient group of marine chelicerates. Although its name has the word “crab”, it is not genetically related to crabs. Instead, they have closer lineages with trilobites and arachnids (e.g. spiders and scorpions).
The wild population of horseshoe crab had dropped by over 90% between 2000 and 2009. A study in 2012 indicated that the number of local juvenile horseshoe crabs only amounts to less than 10,000 (around 4,500 juvenile Chinese horseshoe crabs and 3,000 mangrove horseshoe crabs). Major threats that they are facing include: human exploitation, loss of habitats due to coastal development and pollution, and fishing nets and gears entanglement.

Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong (OPCFHK) is doing several projects on replenishing wild population of horseshoe crabs and motivating and training our younger generation to be conservation ambassador.

Juvenile Horseshoe Crab Rearing Programme

OPCFHK has been collaborating with the City University of Hong Kong (CityU) to launch the “Juvenile Horseshoe Crab Rearing Programme” since 2009.  Over 2,700 students have participated in the programme to date. With the help of specialists from CityU throughout the programme, participants are able to rear, observe and monitor the growth of juvenile horseshoe crabs and release them to the wild after a year. The programme is dedicated to participating in effective conservation education to young generations, inspiring them to engage in conservation actions, especially the species' conservation.  Apart from this, schools and colleges have also organised different kinds of promotional events in pursuit of more widespread messages of horseshoe crab conservation.

Hong Kong Juvenile Horseshoe Crab Population Survey

OPCFHK documents the amount and distribution of juvenile horseshoe crabs in mudflats, and monitors the threats to horseshoe crabs caused by human disturbance and development, so that our scientists can better manage their conservation projects.  OPCFHK also trains university students as ambassadors to conduct survey, at the same time to equip them with horseshoe crab research skills.  

Restoring the Habitat of Horseshoe Crabs

OPCFHK organises mudflat clean-ups regularly, involving members of general public or corporates to restore the habitats of horseshoe crabs.

To know more about conservation on horseshoe crabs, please click here.

Please donate to support horseshoe crab conservation projects and envision a world where Asian wildlife remains biologically diverse!


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