Red Crab Migration in Christmas Island during October and November is one of the most fantastic attraction for tourist in Australia.
Christmas Island is small island (Australian) in Indian Ocean, 2500 kms northwest from Perth with nearly 1400 population.
The Unique location and isolation and minimal disturbance by human made this island high level endemism ( Endemism means an ecological state of being unique to a defined geographic location– for more)
About 65 % area of this island are reserved for national park of Australia..
Christmas Island red crab, Gecarcoidea natalis are found in huge no. here ( Approximately 43.7 million adult red crabs )..
These Red crab 116 millimetres (4.6 in) wide, and their gills are rounded and encloses. Claws of red crab are equal size and if anyhow one claw injured then it will regenerate .Male crab are large in size but females have broad abdomen.
They Lives in burrow to protect them from sunlight.
Their Population was increased heavily after the extinction of Maclear’s Rat, Rattus Macleari in 1903..
But recent accidental invasion of yellow crazy ant from Africa killed almost 15 million red crabs ( 1/4 th of total population)
As wet seasons begin all adult crabs (more than 40 million ) start migrating from forest to sea coast for breeding .
Males lead and latter female join. These migration simultaneously takes place all over the island.
Road are closed for few weeks .
After reaching sea coast , they mate and female lay eggs. With in one month the larvae become 5 millimetre and travel back to forest accompanied with their parents..
They eat flowers and leaves and sometimes tiny dead animal but if food is scarce they can eat other crab as well.
Photos of Red Crab in Christmas Island
Videos Of Red Crab Migration (from natgeo)