Shinnecock Bay and Heady Creek are known for one of four species of horseshoe crabs left in the world. The one we see along our coast is Limulus Polyphemus.
Horseshoe crabs are among the oldest living species on the planet, having survived over 300 million years they are believed by scientists to be a relative to the trilobite.
Horseshoe crabs serve as an important water quality indicator that identifies a balance in an estuary's system.
The mating seasons are during the full and new moons in the months of May to early June. Their eggs are a food source for many species of birds, turtles and other wetland inhabitants.
In June of 2012, Shinnecock shores had one of the largest moltings Long Island DEC had ever seen. Since then we have been monitoring the mating season and molting season of horseshoe crabs. are medically important.
We need to protect this “Living Fossil”. The Shinnecock Indian Nation Environmental Department works in collaboration with Cornell Cooperative Extension to monitor the horseshoe crabs in this area as part of the horseshoe crab volunteer monitoring project of Long Island