Kenting crab protection in Kenting takes more of technology, road closures, and manpower this year

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Kenting crab protection in Kenting takes more of technology, road closures, and manpower this year

The number and species of terrestrial crabs in Kenting had dropped significantly as compared with the survey performed 10 years ago, Hong-chang Liu (劉烘昌) as scholar of terrestrial crab said, adding that the attack of foreign invading yellow crazy ants was the biggest threat to their existence, and the Kenting National Park Headquarters should strengthen the prevention and control measures.  We had written about this extensively already, in articles here and here. Also, specifically, considering Chuanfanrock area protection acts, here

Kenting National Park was rich in ecological resources of terrestrial crab, and the Kenting National Park Headquarters held a presentation meeting of conservation results of terrestrial crab today; as for the prevention and control of “road killing” of egg-holding terrestrial crabs crossing the road, apart from closing the road for crab protection at the road section from the Taiwan Provincial Highway 26 of Banana Bay to Shadao, crab protection technology was also planned to be introduced.

As for the feasibility of the biological phototropism experiment at the underground passage of the terrestrial crab, it was initially shown that there was a response to blue light, and there was a plan next year to officially carry out the experiment at the underground passage set up by the Directorate General of Highways, Jheng-jhang Li (李政璋) as the Ph.D. of the terrestrial crab said, adding that however, this was only treatment of the symptom, and reduction to two lanes for the vehicle could be the cure of the cause.

Taiwan provincial highway section nr 26 near shadao

Shadao beach area and Taiwan provincial highway Nr.26

The period from June till October of the lunar calendar every year was the peak period of eggs-holding terrestrial crabs of Kenting National Park heading to the beach to release their offspring, in order to prevent the eggs-holding female crabs from being run over by vehicles till death when they crossed the road at night to the beach to release their offspring, the Kenting National Park Headquarters had been executing traffic management for crab protection at two kilometers road section hotspot from Taiwan Provincial Highway 26 of Banana Bay to Shadao for 12 consecutive years. 17 terrestrial crabs out of the 426 individuals who crossed the road from July till September of this year were killed on the road, all of which occurred before or after the traffic management, occupying 3.99%, 

kenting crab crossing the

Land crab attempting to cross a road near Shadao beach in Kenting

Conservation and Research Section mentioned at the presentation meeting of conservation results today, adding that although the rate of “road killing” was lower than that of previous years, the interference by people and vehicles had increased as compared with that of previous years, and whether there is extension of time of traffic management would be considered next year. 

land crab in kenting

The woodland situated at the right side of the 2-kilometer road section from Taiwan Provincial Highway 26 of Banana Bay to Shadao was a hotspot for terrestrial crabs, and the way to avoid road killing was either road elevation or set up of underground passages and cost of the latter was lower. Discussion about elevated highway was covered on vr-kenting.com earlier and can be read here

Dr. Zhengzhang Li (李政璋) said, adding that while the terrestrial crabs may get lost in the dark underground passages, and using biological phototropism experiments, he set up the feasibility of underground passages for terrestrial crabs, and previous experiments in the 16-meters long closed ditche at the side of the road found that half of terrestrial crabs would go to blue light, however, it was only a preliminary experiment, and the experimental underground passage to be set up by the Directorate General of Highway next year was as long as 40 meters, coupled with the sweltering heat in the ditch, all of which making him worried about the great amount of variables, even if successful, this was only a cure for the symptoms, hence, reduction into two lanes could be treatment for the root cause. 

At the same time when Kenting National Park Headquarters was closing the road at the Taiwan Provincial Highway 26 for crab protection, the environmental protection group also performed traffic management for crab protection at the section of the Checheng Coastal Landscape Highway of Checheng Township from Fu’an Bridge to Guishan Bridge which was located outside the area. 

The wetlands between the Sichongxi of Checheng Township and the seaport of the Baoli Creek were also inhabited by terrestrial and hermit crabs, Yuxi Zhu (朱玉璽) and Lawyer Yi Zhang (張怡), who were members of the environmental protection group of Pingtung county said, adding that because the road cut the connection between the coast and the wetlands, which was the only way for terrestrial crabs to release their offspring at the seaside, it was a dangerous road of death for the crabs, and it cannot be ignored just because it was located outside the area of national park.

The authority of road management would be asked to pay attention to this matter, Wen-ho Lin (林文和) as the director of the Kenting National Park Headquarters said. 

crab spotting in kenting monitors

The number and species of terrestrial crabs at Banana Bay of Kenting, Gangkou Village of Manzhou and Houwan of Checheng had dropped sharply as compared with the survey 10 years ago, factors including development of human habitat, herbicide abuse, road engineering, and other habitat cutting, meteorological changes, and attack of foreign invading yellow crazy ants, all of which were threats to the survival of terrestrial crabs, Hong-chang Liu (劉烘昌) as scholar of terrestrial crab said, adding that to solve the crisis of road killing, in addition to artificial road closure as a crab-friendly or protective measure, both road elevation and underground passageways were methods and options, and the attack of foreign invading yellow crazy ants was the biggest threat of survival of terrestrial crabs, hence the Kenting National Park Headquarters should strengthen the prevention and control. 

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