26 December: Red crab migration is underway on Christmas Island

red crab (Gecarcoidea natalis)

December marks the beginning of the annual migration of a unique little crustacean.

Sparked by the onset of the rainy season, red crabs have already begun their 2012 trek to the sea. They are traveling from the forest to the coast, where they will mate, lay eggs, and molt. Biologists estimate that more than 33 million crabs make the journey each year, and individual crabs can travel up to ten km to get to their spawning beaches.

Today, the crabs are threatened by human development and the introduced yellow crazy ant.

Read more and watch a video on the crab migration…

Read about research tracking the crabs using radio tags…

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