Keep an eye out for emerging baby crabs from around 10 January onwards! Yes, the amazing migration and spawning of red crabs on Christmas Island is over and for the last couple of weeks larvae have taken their chances out in the ocean.
The female crabs began emerging from their breeding burrows over the weekend before Christmas – many forced out by flooding following heavy rain.
The females, covered by mud from the wet burrows and ground, moved to the shoreline all round the island. Some headed for beaches but most climbed carefully down the shore cliff to spawn.
Because of the wet weather, most did not dip in the sea as is the usual custom prior to spawning. The wet weather and heavy rain wet the egg mass for them.
The crabs headed directly to the shore and commenced spawning. It’s a hazardous time for the female crabs. Some fall into the sea and many drown.
As soon as the females completed dropping their eggs into the sea they began their return migration – they don’t muck about!
Thank you to everyone who took care to not kill crabs while driving around the island during the migration. We’ll let you know you as soon as any little fellas are spotted emerging from the ocean!
Mike, Christmas Island National Park