When is the annual migration of Red Crabs on Christmas Island?
Christmas Island is a small Australian island in the Indian Ocean, that is home to many species of animal and plant. The island is particularly noted for its populations of Christmas Island red crabs, a species of land crab that is endemic to the island, and their spectacular migration from the forest to the coast each year during the breeding season.
At the beginning of the wet season (which is usually October / November), over 50 million adult red crabs suddenly start migrating from the forest to the coast to breed. The migration is usually synchronized all over the island. During peak migration times, sections of roads where crabs cross in high numbers are closed to vehicles for short periods of time.
After mating the females release their eggs into small burrows on the sea where the hatch, and the young larvae develop into tiny small crabs. After remaining about a month in the ocean, the young crabs, only five millimeters across, accompanied by the adults make their long trek back home. Upon reaching the inland, the crabs disappear into rocky outcrops, fallen tree branches and debris on the forest floor for the next three years.