Holey Moley! Sanctuary Beaches Experiencing Largest Mole Crab Baby Boom in 10+ Years

Mole (sand) crabs are among the most important and abundant invertebrates on beaches within the LiMPETS network. Despite their significance, no long-term data set exists for this species – except for the Sanctuary’s LiMPETS sandy beach data set. This spring, beaches throughout the Gulf of the Farallones and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary regions have been experiencing unusually high numbers of young crabs recruiting to the swash zones of our beaches. In particular, El Camino High School collected (and counted) 5,000 young mole crabs(within 100 core samples) on Pacific State Beach in late March. Since 2001, this may be the largest recruitment event in these Sanctuaries on record!

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