Algarve – Day 4

Ger McGrath takes us through the latest news from Portugal:

UCC BEES Students near Faro, Portugal collecting research data on Uca (Fiddler Crab) behaviour on March 31st 2011

Waking up at 8am, the prospect of spending 4 hours in a sandy intertidal zone didn’t seem too appealing at first. However, as always Mr Sandman was being emphatically played by Alex in the apartment next door, so with renewed vigour we set out to study the curious fiddler crab (Uca sp.) in the zone of Ria Formosa, Near Faro Airport (40Km east of our apartment).

The fiddler crabs retreat to their burrows when disturbed so we remained quite subdued while studying their behaviour and movements from a short distance. The males have a single large claw used for display and courtship, and raise it up when showing off in a waving fashion.

After data collection using some scan and focal sampling the group headed home for afternoon lectures and began to write up the report. The day was finished off for some of us by a relaxing meal on a beachside restaurant and a much needed early night in anticipation of a 6am start tomorrow!

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