christmas island national park

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Baby red crabs 'return' to Christmas Island

Baby red crabs 'return' to Christmas Island Baby red crabs, named megalopae, started emerging from the sea in Flying Fish Cove and on Dolly Beach this morning. Known locally as ‘returns’ these baby crabs follow a successful migration and spawning of millions of adult red crabs in mid-December. Whether there are baby crabs returning in other parts of the island is unknown as yet but Parks staff will be on the lookout over the next week for more babies.

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Male red crabs head back to the forest

It has been quite hot and dry so this male hasn't lost the dirt from the mating burrow The males head back to the forest plateau Christmas Island’s red crabs mated last week and the females are now holed up in their burrows developing their eggs. With their work done, the males are on their way back to the forest plateau. It’s been quite dry so the males are easy to spot as they are quite dirty from the burrows.

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Red crabs get down to business

Crabs stay behind the crab fence which keeps them off the road The crabs take a dip in the sea before mating begins 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.

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New name for reptile breeding facility on Christmas Island

We were delighted to see so many Christmas Island residents join us this month for a community day at The Pink House. Everyone wanted to check out our newly-constructed captive breeding facility and catch a glimpse of the island’s critically endangered reptiles. The building is home to our population of critically endangered blue-tailed skinks and Lister’s geckos so it needed a name to reflect its importance. We asked the children what they thought - and after much deliberation we chose Daniel Anticich’s suggestion, Lizard Lodge.

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A feral cat-free future for Christmas Island

with Christmas Island invasive species officer Dion Maple Native animals like Hannibal will be safe to thrive I just returned from Christmas Island, a remote and captivating place with unique and beautiful ecology. But the uniqueness of its plants and animals also makes them vulnerable to predation and competition from ferals. While the full causes are complex and cryptic, it is clear that invasive species such as cats, yellow crazy ants, rats and centipedes are having an egregious effect on the native wildlife.

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That's not a crab...this is a crab!

Doug meeting a local robber crab. The park’s natural resources manager Sam Flakus acted as robber crab wrangler and photographer Parks Australia stalwart Doug Brown has realised a long-held ambition to visit Christmas Island. Doug travelled with Judy West to meet with park staff and discuss the draft Christmas Island Biodiversity Conservation Plan which is currently out for public comment. Doug was also thrilled to see one of Christmas Island’s famous robber crabs - the world’s largest terrestrial invertebrate.

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Planting seeds of knowledge on Christmas Island

teaches Roslan Sani and Adijah Bingham the float test, to determine seed viability demonstrates nursery techniques Growing up to 30,000 rainforest trees per year is quite a challenge, especially a couple of dozen different native species… on a remote tropical island! In February, Australian National Botanic Gardens’ nursery manager Joe McAuliffe and seed bank manager Tom North flew out to Christmas Island to share their expertise with members of the Christmas Island Minesite to Forest Rehabilitation (CIMFR) program.

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Buff-banded babies doing well

It’s been 12 months since the translocation of the endangered Cocos buff-banded rail and recent monitoring suggests they are doing well. During a banding attempt on the island juveniles were easy to spot and many could be heard calling out to mum and dad. Volunteer park ranger Liz Znidersic came all the way from Freycinet National Park in Tassie to help us out with the banding. We’ll continue to monitor the birds in their new home – next up will be more banding, and a population estimate.

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Gecko threat to Christmas Island

Sri Lankan house gecko | Invasive species can bring new diseases that could threaten native reptiles A new invasive species of gecko has been discovered in the Cocos (Keeling) islands, and it’s got our Parks Australia staff worried. Two Sri Lankan house geckos (Hemidactylus parvimaculatus) have been found on West Island - the first time this gecko has been found anywhere in Australia. The gecko hasn’t spread to Pulu Keeling National Park and it isn’t a problem in the southern atoll, because there aren’t any endemic geckos on the Cocos Islands.

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Baby red crabs make impressive entrance!

Baby red crabs cover the rocks They're everywhere! | Photo by Indian Ocean Experiences Rangers keep an eye on the crabs - and grab a photo or two | Photo by Indian Ocean Experiences On Christmas Island we’ve been delighted to see millions of baby red crabs emerge from the ocean and march inland to the rainforests. The natural phenomenon is always a breathtaking sight to witness but this year has been especially impressive!

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