scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Thursday, December 09, 2021

Mating crawl: Migrating Christmas Island crabs jam traffic

Tiernan said the ecological phenomenon of crabs migrating to the sea to spawn occurs nowhere else in the world on such a scale.

By: Reuters |
Updated: November 24, 2021 2:39:01 pm
Crab migrationMigrating red crab are seen on a road on Christmas Island, Australia, in this undated image obtained via social media. (Parks Australia via REUTERS)

Millions of red crabs crawled across Christmas Island on Tuesday, part of their annual migration journey to the ocean on the island off the coast of Western Australia.

“This year’s migration has just been absolutely epic,” said Christmas Island National Park natural resource manager Brendan Tiernan. “The roads have been a seething mass of red crabs. It’s caused traffic jams on this small island and people having to get out of their cars and rake them out the way.”

crab migration Migrating red crab are seen in a drain on Christmas Island, Australia, in this undated image obtained via social media. (Parks Australia via REUTERS)

Tiernan said the ecological phenomenon of crabs migrating to the sea to spawn occurs nowhere else in the world on such a scale. “Sometimes we call it red crab island; the island’s community acknowledge just how important red crabs are to our ecosystem and to our economy, to tourism,” he said.

After mating, male crabs will journey back to the jungle as the females stay behind in burrows for about two weeks to lay eggs. Each female can produce up to 100,000 eggs, which she will deposit into the ocean.

“Some people were quite freaked out by the fact that they’re surrounded by millions of crawling arthropods, whereas other people are just immersed – basically do a little ‘red crab angel’, they’ll lie on ground and let themselves get covered in red crabs,” Tiernan said.

Crab migration A sign indicating a road closure for red crab migration is seen on Christmas Island, Australia, in this still image from undated video obtained via social media. ( Parks Australia via REUTERS )

The Christmas Island red crab is unique to the island and protected by Australian law.

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines

For all the latest Technology News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement