Lane restrictions to make way for land crabs in Kenting

Taipei, The Kenting National Park Headquarters will implement a nine-year-old measure from late July to late October to make way for land crabs as they migrate from inland areas to the coast to spawn during full-moon nights.

Shiangchiaowan, also called Banana Bay, in the Kenting National Park, is an important habitat and spawning ground for land crabs. But ever since the construction of Provincial Highway No. 26 along the shore there, the crustaceans have been forced to cross the highway to reach the coast to spawn, and are often crushed by passing vehicles.

To help the crabs cross the road in safety, the park administration has since 2010 introduced the measure of narrowing a certain section of the four-lane highway to two lanes.

The administration launched further traffic controls last year, closing the two inner lanes to traffic every 10 minutes during the crab spawning season.

This year, the "Stop 10, Drive 10" tactic will be implemented from July 27-29, Aug. 25-27 and Sept. 24-26 between 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., as well as from Oct. 23-25 between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on the highway section from the 39.5-kilometer mark to the 41.5-km mark.

The park explained that the traffic controls are planned to coincide with the full moon.

According to a survey commissioned by the park administration in 2010, there are 30 species of land crab in seven families in the national park, the world's most in terms of species volume and diversity.

The coastal forest of Shiangchiaowan was once home to at least 26 species of land crab, making it the most diverse known habitat in the world for the creatures, but the number had been reduced to 17 species by 2015, the park administration said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel