Using Acoustic Telemetry to Track Green Crab Movements

Katrina Zarrella-Smith


Numerous studies have examined green crab impacts on estuarine and salt marsh systems, but knowledge of their movements is limited. Characterizing movements of individual green crabs within systems vulnerable to invasion, such as estuaries, is needed as a tool for decision-makers considering intervention efforts against this invasive species.


Use acoustic telemetry in a model estuarine system (Webhannet River estuary) to track movements of green crabs over several months with these goals:

  1. Identify behavioral patterns across daily and seasonal scales
  2. Relate movements to environmental conditions
  3. Assess the relationship between sex and behavior

Project Period



Male and female green crabs equipped with acoustic tags behaved differently. Males moved up the estuary into generally warmer and shallower water, while females tended to move down estuary where water was colder.


Zarrella-Smith KA, Woodall JN, Ryan A, Furey NB, Goldstein JS (2022) Seasonal estuarine movements of green crabs revealed by acoustic telemetry. Marine Ecology Progress Series 681:129-143.


  • Maine Sea Grant
  • George and Eleanor Ford Research Fund at Laudholm Trust
  • University of New Hampshire

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