APNewsBreak: Feds to protect red knot shorebirds

MATTHEW DALY, Associated Press
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An employee of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, releases a Red Knot on the north end of Nauset Beach in Eastham, Mass., Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013.  (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

An employee of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, releases a Red Knot on the north end of Nauset Beach in Eastham, Mass., Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A little shorebird called the red knot is closer to getting federal protection.

The rosy-breasted red knot makes a 10,000-mile migration from South America to the Arctic and stops to refuel in Cape Cod and Delaware Bay. Officials say rising sea levels and disappearing habitat on the East Coast are taking a toll on the robin-sized bird.

The Fish and Wildlife Service is expected to propose that the red knot be listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

Red knot populations have dropped by about 75 percent in Delaware Bay since the 1980s. That’s a result of shrinking habitat and a drastic decline in the region’s horseshoe crabs. Crab eggs are part of the birds’ diet.

The red knot is already listed as endangered by New Jersey

 

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