Baby red crabs are here!

Christmas Island National Park ranger Caitlyn Pink gets a close-up look at the tiny baby red crabs as started coming up to the shore on the south-western side of Flying Fish Cove to march up to the rainforest.

It’s great to be witnessing baby red crabs emerging from the ocean on the south-western side of Flying Fish Cove on Christmas Island.

Baby red crabs emerging from the sea in January 2012

The pilgrimage began just two days after the shipwrecked cargo vessel MV Tycoon spilt phosphate and oil into the cove. Waves of thousands — more likely millions — of tiny translucent crabs have marched up the beach.

These red crabs are only found on Christmas Island and they play a vital role in keeping the island’s rainforests healthy — feeding on other dead crabs and recycling fallen plants and debris, and selectively feeding on seeds and seedlings which determines the types of plants found in the forest. Their droppings also fertilise the forest and their burrowing aerates the soil.

Our park team have pulled together a short video so you too can witness this amazing event. Take a look!

Mike Misso, Christmas Island National Park