STN October 14

The STAY TUNED network:
News, events, research, opinions and opportunities in coastal conservation, sustainability, soundscapes, nature, and music

October 14, 2008

1) Why did the crab cross the road?
2) Invasive species – two wrongs don’t make a right
3) Concerts for causes


The crab Cardisoma guanhumi, commonly called “Cangrejo azul” or “Blue Land-Crab,” can be found along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean, down to South America. They grow to be pretty big, with their body the size of your fist. When they aren’t out foraging, mating, or migrating, they hide away in their burrows. However, they can be drawn from their burrow to investigate the sound of falling fruit and leaves (C. guanhumi is sensitive to very small vibrations, 10-1500Hz 70dB). While not much is known about their lifespan, they are hypothesized to live longer than other crabs based on the fact that they grow more slowly. (*stay tuned* for more on animal time scales!)

So why did the crab cross the road?
During the rainy season, at the full moon, the females mass migrate to the shore to release their eggs into the ocean. The larvae when they hatch develop in the ocean, and return to shore as juveniles to continue the life cycle. In developed areas such as Cancun, Mexico, roads and other construction block passage of the crabs. So there is a community protection campaign to help the crabs cross the road! Every night during the peak migration days in September and October local kids and their parents go out with buckets and flashlights, helping the crabs. Having just passed the full moon, tonight there should be a lot of crabs!

For the nerds out there, classification of the crab –

Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Arthropoda Class: Malacostraca Order: Decapoda Suborder: Pleocyemata Family: Gecarcinidae Genus: Cardisoma Species: Cardisoma guanhumi

(more info: http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Cardisoma_guanhumi.html; http://www.sms.si.edu/IRLSpec/Cardis_guanhu.htm)


Invasive species are bad…. right? So why would we offer them as solutions to environmental problems, such as introducing non-native oysters to remedy the problems associated with the decline in the native oyster populations in the Chesapeake Bay? Especially when we have no way of knowing what the long term and widespread impacts would be?

Despite pressures to introduce invasive species, on purpose, as a “solution” to environmental problems – some scientists and conservation groups are making a clear case for, instead, supporting the natural environment and the native species.

Check out this article: http://www.prweb.com/releases/Chesapeake_Bay/Foundation/prweb1471534.htm

Please feel free to post comments and opinions about this issue through my website blog, or e-mail them to me and I will post them (anonymously, if you like)


Music moves people, and concerts are a popular way of gaining attention, and funds, for causes.

On Oct 22, in Cancun, I will be playing with Orquesta Vivace and Coro de Cancun in a concert supporting the Mexican national “teleton.”

In November, I am charged with organizing the music for the inauguration of National Conservation Week. I’m thinking to try to get the kids who wrote songs for earth day to come and perform, as well as bring together various singer and musician friends.
It was, in fact, at last year’s National Conservation Week event that I first got in touch with the community of musicians here, when I talked to the flute player and he said they were looking for a cellist!


Let me know what you think, and if you know someone who would like to be included in the network.

^ ^
“stay tuned!”

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