In Taiwan’s extreme south, in May, the spawning season of land crabs is coming, and many land crabs are being killed by motor vehicles and motorcycles because they have to pass through the driveway to lay eggs in the sea. Subsequently, the land crab’s spawning season hits its peak from July to October.
In May, when according to Kenting’s Tropical Climate, the dry season is over, the plum rain reason is about to start, and first, rain downpours fall over the peninsula, land crabs are awakening from hibernation, and they are ready for a breading.
Unfortunately, May is also the start of the vacation season in Taiwan when thousands of cars flock to the Kenting areas to reach their final destinations of selected hotels and homestays.
This is the area on Taiwan Provincial Highway 26, that is said to be responsible to be killing most amount of the crabs.
Taiwan Coastal Highway at this section is the death trap for crab females traveling to the sea to release their babies. If we compare the 40 meters wide road crossing for a crab with an equivalent distance to the crab, then it would be the same as 400m for us – humans!
After the land crabs are killed on the road, other animals will also go up to pick up food, resulting in the second round of the killing, which is harmful to the ecology.
Legislator Chen Jiaohua (陳椒華) of New Power Party recently held a press conference, calling on the government to stop engaging in rhetoric and immediately improve road design and crab habitat management.
Chen Jiaohua pointed out that the government has a lot of funds for road construction, but it has not paid much attention to the conservation work of Kenting land crabs.
Hong Huixiang (洪輝祥) the Pingtung Environmental Protection Alliance representative, said that according to the survey, except for the Kenting Banana Bay Shadao section, 3,000 land crabs were killed by road in a year. Killed land crabs, land crabs in Kenting National Park need more active conservation work. He also mentioned that there might be millions of land crabs in the past, but now there are about 1% of the past.
2017 study also showed that only 500 females had released their eggs into the sea, putting the survival of the whole species under the question.
He Zongxun (何宗勳), secretary-general of the Taiwan Animal Protection Administrative Supervision Alliance, said that environmental groups hope that Taiwan Coastal Highway 26 will be located at the mouth of Banana Bay and Gangxi River and then be elevated by 2 kilometers and 500 meters. At the current moment, Taiwan Coast Highway is just slicing through the lush tropical forest on the one side, and Banana Bay on the other.
Taiwan Provincial Highway 26 slicing tropical forest in half with a sea on the right
This threat is just another threat that these crabs must endure in recent years. Yellow Crazy Ant attacks are just another threat to the lives of these beautiful creatures of the Kenting area in Southern Taiwan.
These terrible yellow crazy ants are no less threatening than the tourist cars on the road.
It is not so that nothing has been done so far – around 2019, there have been special under-road tunnels made for crabs to use and special guiding hemp ropes for crabs to move through the tunnel safely.
This tunnel has been built under the road as a safe passway for the crabs from the forest to the sea.
These hemp ropes help crab females move through the tunnel fast and safe.
Also, more than 100m of the slippery screen along the roadside has been installed to prevent crabs from passing over the road and guiding them to the tunnel instead. During the peak of the spawning season, several lanes of the road are also closed, and even traffic stops for some time to allow crabs to move safely.
These slippery screens do not allow crabs not to cross the road and guide them to the underpass tunnels.
However, this recent press conference held by legislator Chen Jiaohua still shows that these measures are not enough to stop killing crabs, and elevated highway construction is necessary.