Citizen Science: Crab Surveys

A red rock crab blends in with his intertidal surroundings.
How many kinds of native crabs will we identify in our crab pots during the survey?

Being part of a small island community, the park is concerned about the ecological and economic impact of invasive species. The European Green Crab is an invasive species (originally from Europe) that hasn’t made its way to Alaska yet, but there is a major concern that it could make it up this way (it’s been spotted as far north as British Columbia). Where European Green Crabs have become established, they outcompete native crabs, decimate eel-grass beds, and disproportionately consume clams relative to their size. We conduct bi-monthly surveys to keep a watchful eye on the tidelands to ensure our waters are free of this invasive crab species. In addition to preventative measures, early detection is key for mitigating the impacts of invasive species.

As part of the Summer Field Science School, we will set and bait crab pots during low tide. Once the pots have sufficiently soaked, we will measure, identify, and record all the crab species found and release all native crabs. In addition to keeping an eye out for invasive crab species, this will provide information about the native crab species in the park.

Last updated: May 8, 2018

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Sitka, AK 99835


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