Lonely Planet Writer

Land crabs in Taiwan get their very own pedestrian crossing to help them lay eggs

A special pedestrian crossing has opened in southern Taiwan dedicated to land crabs. The crosswalk was created in Pingtung County as a way for land crabs to reach the ocean to lay their eggs.

In order to reach the shore from the coastal forest, around 500 female crabs must travel across a major highway every summer. In previous years, up to 300 crabs have died during the crossing. Local authorities in Kenting National Park, where most of the crabs reside, have tried numerous tactics to ensure the crabs’ safe passage. In previous years, they put out a public call for volunteers to work through the night to help the crabs reach the water. Some volunteers stopped drivers along the highway, while others escorted the crabs safely across the road.

A post shared by Kris (@kris_toor) on Nov 3, 2016 at 2:40am PDT

This year, the park has constructed a special tunnel underneath the highway for the crabs to use. The underpass stretches for 100 metres beneath the dual carriageway and has built-in protective features such as plastic siding and metal grating to discourage crabs from climbing up onto the roadway. Park officials told the Taipei Times that they plan to add additional security measures closer to the mating season to ensure that the crabs use the pedestrian crossing, though they did not specify what those were.

Located at the southern tip of Taiwan, Kenting National Park is one of its most popular national parks thanks to a plethora of recreational beaches and year-round warm weather.

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