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馬蹄蟹校園保姆計劃 邂『鱟』在安柱

Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong (OPCFHK) has been collaborating with City University of Hong Kong (CityU) to launch the “Juvenile Horseshoe Crab Rearing Programme” since 2009. Up to now, there are more than 2,700 students participated in the programme. With the help of specialists from CityU throughout the programme, participants are able to rear horseshoe crabs, observe and monitor the growth of juveniles and release them to the wild after a year. The programme is dedicated to participating in effective conservation education to young generations, inspiring them to engage in conservation actions, especially horseshoe crab conservation as the programme aims to educate students from the day of rearing to the day of release. Apart from this, schools and colleges have also organised different kinds of promotional events in pursuit of more widespread messages of horseshoe crab conservation.

Horseshoe crab has existed since the Late Ordovician Period (475 million years ago), about 230 million years earlier than the early appearance of dinosaurs on Earth.  The body forms of horseshoe crab haven’t changed much over the years and thus the species is considered a “living fossil”.  It has a significant evolutionary and biological value.  In recent years, this living fossil has been affected by human factors and is facing the threat of extinction.  According to City U’s research in 2009, the wild population of horseshoe crabs had dropped by over 90% between 2002 and 2009 due to habitat degradation caused by urban development.