Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Beautiful Creature

Each year, the Great Land Crabs in south Brevard leave their burrows in the Lagoon, migrate to the beach to lay their eggs, and return to the Lagoon. This worked out fine for them for a long while, then housing development and Highway A1A came along and messed up their clear path. They still migrate, but many don't make it across. Indeed, some wind up in swimming pools. (Be sure to click to enlarge this image so you can see the crab's eyes on stalks.)

It's migration time again, and Charlie Corbeil has captured some wonderful photos of these beautiful creatures. He shared this glamour shot with us, and there are others on his web site (see Reference Links below). As Charlie and I were talking about the hazards these crabs face in trying to cross the highway, I was reminded of a story I read last year about folks in Vermont helping some endangered frogs and salamanders across the road. Looking for an update, I searched on "help frogs across the road", and sure enough - there was a story about this year's Vermont rescue effort (link below - a good story).

Matt reminds me that picking up a salamander and carrying it across the road is one thing - exposing your fingers to a Great Land Crab is something else. Still, it seems a rescue process might be considered for these critters whom we have seriously inconvenienced.

Reference Links:
Charlie Corbeil
Great Land Crabs (a post we did last year)
Vermont Rescue Operation (ABC news story)


Cactus Jack Splash said...

What pretty crabs. I hope that people take extra care and watch out for them this time of year. It is a pity the impact our desire to live in certain areas has caused problems for other creatures.

Misti said...

We saw a couple of land crabs at Jonathan Dickinson SP the past couple of weeks. I remember seeing a lot of them near Pelican Island NWR when we lived in Melbourne. Fun little animals!

Kimberlee said...

That IS a beautiful creature!

Florida Beach Basics said...

Gotta love the Internet - one comment is from the southernmost US (that would be Misti), one from the northernmost US (Kimberlee, you're really up there!), and one from Washington State. As Disney would sing (repeatedly), it's a small, small, world!