“This chunky shorebird has a rather anonymous look in winter plumage, but is unmistakable in spring, when it wears robin-red on its chest. It nests in the far north, mostly well above the Arctic Circle (the first known nest was discovered during Admiral Peary’s expedition to the North Pole in 1909); its winter range includes shorelines around the world, south to Australia and southern South America. Where it is common, the Red Knot may roost in very densely packed flocks, standing shoulder to shoulder on the sand.” – Audubon Field Guide
On Friday, November 17, 10:30 a.m. The Barrier Islands Center continues its Coffee Hour Lecture and Performance Series: Implications of Climate Change on Red Knots Using Virginia Barrier Island Stopover Habitat. The lecture will bepresented by Erin Heller. Erin Heller is a third year PhD student in Fish and Wildlife Conservation at Virginia Tech. Her dissertation research focuses on a threatened migratory shorebird species called the red knot (Calidris canutus rufa) that stops-over along Virginia’s barrier islands.
Red knots were listed as federally-threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 2015 after experiencing an ~80% population decline. Because red knots are long distance migrants, travelling upwards of 15,000km twice/year from wintering to breeding grounds and back, numerous factors across continents may have contributed to this decline. Erin will discuss her research on what factors may limit red knots during their spring stopover along Virginia’s barrier islands and why these limitations are important to the red knot’s success.
Cost: Free. To sign up for all classes and lectures, please register online at barrierislandscenter.org or call 678-5550.