The Christmas Island red crabs began their annual migration from the forest to the coastal cliffs two weeks ago. Even though rain on the island has come in fits and starts there’s been enough for the crabs to keep going. The crabs are making their way to the island’s coast in preparation for mating and spawning – it’s a great feat of nature that happens each wet season on Christmas Island, as long as there’s enough rain.
Flying Fish Cove is a good place to see crabs at the moment. It’s easy walking access and there are plenty to see walking through the car park which has been closed to vehicles. There were more crabs there today than yesterday and I suspect there will be more over the coming days.
The crabs will mate early next week and then the females will spend two weeks brooding their eggs before making their way to the cliffs and beaches to spawn. This should occur about the 18th – 19th of December. Before sunrise on these mornings the females will release their eggs into the ocean - timed perfectly for the receding tide.
Once again, Christmas Island residents and visitors have been very accommodating of the road closures and speed restrictions, and are driving carefully to minimise loss of crabs on the roads.
A number of film crews are currently on island to capture this memorable event along with some other keen visitors to the island, including a gentleman from New York who likes to choose an adventurous holiday each year. I am sure that Christmas Island is rewarding them all with amazing sights of the crabs in large numbers on the move, along with the other delights to be found on the island!
Rob, Christmas Island National Park
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Behind-the-scenes of the red crab migration
Red crab migration begins