Ad Spot

Dare commissioners oppose rufa red knot habitat designation

Dare County Board of Commissioners is opposing the proposed critical habitat designation for the rufa red knot, called “a master of long-distance aviation.”

The commissioners say that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has designated “all habitat instead of critical habitat.”

Included in the designation for North Carolina are beaches of Hatteras Island, Ocracoke Island, all of Bogue Banks oceanfront and Core Banks/Shackleford Banks as critical habitat as well as Topsail Beach in Pender County, Fort Fisher in New Hanover County and Sunset Beach/Bird Island in Brunswick County.

On Sept 7, Dare’s commissioners passed a resolution that states the board is “strongly opposed” to the designation that labels a continuous 150-mile stretch of North Carolina beaches critical habitat for the threatened rufa red knot.

The resolution also calls on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to “revisit the Red Knot Rufa critical habitat designation methodology in a manner resulting in a more fine-tuned designation of important habitats for the Red Knot Rufa rather than broad, indiscriminate continuous stretches of oceanfront shoreline; most notably, a more than 150-mile continuous stretch in North Carolina that includes proposed Unit NC-1, NC-1A and Dare County.”

The proposed designation also includes shoals.

red knot

The rufa red knot is captured in breeding plumage as published in the Ocracoke Observer on May 24, 2020. Peter Vankevich photo

The rufa red knot flies back and forth from the extreme south of Tierra del Fuego to the far north of the central Canadian Arctic, a one-way distance of more than 9,300 miles.

Outer Banks beaches serve as a stop-over for the red knot on these spring and winter journeys.

On July 15, 2021, USFWS proposed to designate 649,066 acres of critical habitat across 13 states for the rufa red knot.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reports that the rufa red knot was “decimated” in the 1800s by commercial hunting for sport and food. The hunting ended under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in 1918 and the birds largely recovered. But with coastal development and overharvest of horseshoe crabs, the birds declined by about 75% from the 1980s to 2000s.

A mid-Atlantic management plan for horseshoe crabs was enacted. “Knot populations appear to have stabilized in recent years, though at low levels,” writes the Fish and Wildlife Service.

“It’s classic overreach,” said Hatteras Island’s commissioner Danny Couch.

The Sept. 7 vote was unanimous.

READ ABOUT MORE NEWS HERE.

RECENT HEADLINES:

Celebrate your favorites: Nominations for Coastland Gold awards closing soon

Duck Town Council meets new employees

News

Dare Tourism Board awards 10 grants for upcoming events

News

Late Senate leader Marc Basnight remembered by former colleagues

News

North Carolina man who claimed to have bomb at Capitol ruled competent for trial

News

Hatteras Island firefighters battle Wednesday evening blaze in Avon

Lifestyles

All kinds of fishing going on

Lifestyles

NC State Fair: Vaccinations encouraged, not required

Crime

North Carolina man found in street with gunshot wounds dies

Lifestyles

Outer Banks Community Foundation awards $29,000 in grants to five nonprofits

Business

Miles Daniels named to Currituck Chamber Board of Directors

News

Public comment open for project to repair the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, surrounding landscape

Crime

North Carolina man charged with child abuse after 4-year-old hospitalized with head injury

Crime

North Carolina man sentenced to 10 years in prison for stealing ammunition, firearms

Crime

State Court of Appeals panel upholds murder conviction of North Carolina man

News

Dare school board hears public comments questioning masks; Farrelly reports quarantine numbers are falling

Currituck

Currituck commissioners implore drivers to exercise caution in school zones

Crime

North Carolina man charged in fatal shooting of son-in-law

News

In Kill Devil Hills, $3 million street and drainage improvement project to begin in fall

News

Speed limits increased on NC 12; night driving in place at CHNS

Crime

Police: North Carolina man found shot to death in front yard

Crime

North Carolina man sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for methamphetamine, firearm charges

Lifestyles

Dare CYP seeks community support for diaper drives

News

DMF schedules estuarine striped bass plan advisory committee workshop

News

North Carolina unemployment rate falls to 4.3% in August

Crime

North Carolina woman fatally shot, then hit by car