Discussions for Land Crab Protection in Banana Bay in Kenting Heat up

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Discussions for Land Crab Protection in Banana Bay in Kenting Heat up

I’ve been writing about this big ecological trouble in Banana bay (and not only there – in the Chuanfan rock area as well), already twice on our blog. Previous articles can be read here and here, they provide more insights of the problem. 
Recently, this topic again is catching my attention, since the update comes again. 

Tropical strand forest of the Banana Bay in Kenting National Park has the highest ecological abundance of terrestrial (land) crab in the world, but thousands of terrestrial crabs die tragically on the highway every year.

The Transportation Committee of Legislative Yuan was represented by legislator Chen Jiau-hua (陳椒華) today; she led a delegation to Kenting to conduct an exploration, and after the meeting, they proposed five corresponding plans which included elevation of existing roads, planning of ecological corridor under the road, etc.

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications would evaluate together with the Kenting National Park Headquarters and other units in the hope to stop the tragedy of road killing of land crab as soon as possible.

kenting crab crossing the

Although the current exploration had specifically proposed five plans, there was a hot episode when the afternoon meeting just started. When Lin Wen-ho (林文和) as the director of the Kenting National Park Headquarters was explaining the current situation of the zoning of land of Banana Bay, he listed area to the west of the Taiwan Provincial Highway 26 till the sea or marine area as an ecological reserve area, ignoring the fact that there was also a large ecological reserve area at the east of the highway, and this made Hong Huixiang (洪輝祥) as former chairman of the Pingtung Environmental Protection Union/Alliance quite dissatisfied. “How come you can be the director? One was pushed into two,” scolded angrily by Hong (洪) on Lin (林). The civil servants receiving the salary from country could even push the protected area like this, and this made people angry, Hong (洪) said with anger, and he finally withdrew from the seat to protest.

zoning near banana bay

Zoning areas near Banana bay. More on the type of areas, here

The ecology of land crabs at Kenting is rich.

According to the survey of Liu Hong-chang (劉烘昌) an expert of terrestrial crabs, there were 34 species of terrestrial crabs of supratidal zone which could be found within 4 kilometres from Banana Bay to Shadao.

Since Christmas Island of Australia which contains less than 20 species of crabs is already known as the island of crab, the ecological diversity of terrestrial crab at Kenting which is the highest in the world appeared to be more precious.

These terrestrial crabs migrate from their habitats to nearby water area to release their offspring during the reproductive season, and because they need to cross Taiwan Provincial Highway 26 on their way to water area, they are in danger. According to the survey in 2019, 3210 crabs died on the streets in a year.

According to the survey in 2019, 3210 crabs died on the streets in a year.

vr-kenting.com

More interestingly, the pregnant female crab was the group that needed to cross the road the most; the pregnant female crab served to reproduce the next generation, but they also contributed to the death toll most.

Taking the incident that 233 Epigrapsus notatus had died in that year as an example, about 80% of them were pregnant female crabs, and this had created a major impact on the ecology of land crabs.

Chen Jiau-hua (陳椒華) led the delegation to the south; they first went Banana Bay for exploration, and then they went to the Kenting National Park Headquarters for discussion.

They finally proposed five corresponding plans, which included the retainment of only the inner lane and raising of 50 centimetres for the existing two-way two-lane road from Banana Bay to Shadao.

These also included the planning of an ecological corridor under the road, the closure or abolishment of the outer lane, etc.

Among the five plans, there were also road diversion of people and vehicles or addition of elevated roads, etc. Ecological conservation also needed to consider the right of use of residents, and local resident may have opinions on road diversion and other plans, hence there could be a huge resistance, Lin Wen-ho (林文和) as the director of the Kenting National Park Headquarters said.

Chen Jiau-hua (陳椒華) asked the Ministry of Transportation and Communications as well as the Kenting National Park Headquarters to carry out assessment as soon as possible, so that the terrestrial crabs could be protected as soon as possible.

Meeting of today had specifically proposed five plans, of which this was considered the largest breakthrough in recent years. The conservation of terrestrial crabs had been proposed for many years, Liu Hong-chang (劉烘昌) said, adding that the Taiwan authorities had finally seen this matter, and it was a good start.

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