Conservationists seek protection for land crabs

| 03/06/2019 | 26 Comments
Cayman News Service

Land crab in the Cayman Islands
(photo courtesy DoE)

(CNS): A group of concerned conservationists who are worried about the threat to Cayman’s land crabs have been working with the Department of Environment to get these culturally significant creatures on the protected species lists under the National Conservation Law. A request is now being made to Cabinet to add the black land crab and red shanks so that the DoE can come up with a conservation plan to help reverse the decline. The group of residents are worried about the reduced population and the crabs’ vulnerability to getting killed during spawning events.

In the latest edition of Flicker, the magazine of the DoE Terrestrial Resources Unit, an article outlines how the activists got involved in pushing for the conservation of the species, which are subject to “possible endangerment and extinction” because of lost habitat, obstruction of migratory routes, crab-hunting, and “crab bait” poisons on residential developments.

The concerned residents asked the National Conservation Council to consider the cultural significance of these species, their appeal to tourists, their ecological significance as recyclers and seed dispersers, and the educational value related to the species’ ecology.

The ministry responsible for the environment is in the process of drawing up a paper for Cabinet and if the elected officials agree, then the experts can work out a plan that will protect the species so that future Caymanians will also be able to enjoy this traditional and popular food in the decades to come.

See the summer edition of Flicker on the DoE website here.

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Category: Land Habitat, Science & Nature

Comments (26)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    i live near patrick island…the other night i e nature.. when i came home to find a white van parked in my driveway and a jamaican man chasing crabs in my yard…i feed them as i love nature…when i asked him to leave he felt a way…….dangerous….i agree with conserving the crabs…why shoukd we allow them to destroy our country after theirs?😮😣

  2. Ron Ebanks says:

    @ 7:38pm , Ron can catch a break from replying to smart people like you.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Good grief, these people need to sit down and shut up.

  4. Rick says:

    I predict that expatriates will soon need a license to hunt crabs. That is the default ‘feel good’ position.

    • Anonymous says:

      And in accordance with Cayman tradition it won’t be enforced, like all the other regulations we have

  5. Anonymous says:

    I wonder what happened to all the crabs that were living under the old Seaview Hotel? You used to be able to hear them scratching round at night but I bet there are none under the new building.

  6. Anonymous says:

    If it was up to the environmentalists we would have to eat rocks to survive. Or they may put those on the protected list too.

    • Anonymous says:

      If it were up to all those who don’t see a need to limit their take, there wont be any traditional things left to eat anyway – they will all be extinct.

  7. Anonymous says:

    9 years ago they were everywhere. I miss the good old days of them playing frogger in the road.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I’m sure all of the commentors below noticed that crab hunting was only THIRD on the list of threats, right?

  9. Ron Ebanks says:

    Jay , that is why I said that the Government /Politicians need to come to their senses and protect the natural food sources.

  10. Anonymous says:

    For about $80MM CIG will develop the Cayman Crab Center, which will serve the multi purpose of tourist attraction, cultural education center, crab preservation (including annual crab releases), and food farm, all while generating a huge profit for government.

    • Anonymous says:

      If I could buy crab to cook with I would be using it all the time. Fresh crab is hard to beat

  11. Anonymous says:

    Yes as usual blame the locals when it’s over development that’s the case.

    • Anonymous says:

      Which is down to locals selling their land to the highest bidder irrespective of what they intend do with it, other locals approving any planning application that comes before them so they can sell the developers hardware and building supplies, and elected locals changing the planning laws to encourage even more building at higher and higher heights irrespective of our environment or infrastructure and refusing to enforce regulations to expedite the “development” of our island, then all sitting round bitching about the entirely foreseeable outcome. We are not some poor Indian tribe conquered by force and having no rights or power – we are the ones who make the decisions and elect the politicians, we just don’t like accepting responsibility for the consequences when we care more about the dollar and lifestyle than we do about our home.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agreed with you until you suggested the average person cares more about the dollar and the lifestyle. I think the average person would just like to see their income go up. Bermuda is way more expensive than we are but it doesn’t matter because salaries keep pace there. They don’t here because we have a kleptocracy and that is what has to change. We almost need a revolutionary to bring a new group into office at this point that is focused solely on the needs of people in Cayman.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Re: “…then the experts can work out a plan that will protect the species so that future Caymanians will also be able to enjoy this traditional and popular food in the decades to come.”

    Cant believe CNS opted to conclude on such a misguided angle – however, in light of previous stances e.g. “barbaric” local turtle consumption – we should not be surprised.

    Hunting is not responsible for the alleged depletion in numbers – for there is NO WAY we ate out the hordes of crabs that used to roam these islands during “crab season” as I grew up.

    Development with its reduction and destruction of natural habitat is the actual problem.

  13. Ron Ebanks says:

    I wonder when will the Government/Politicians come to their senses and see that all food sources are being depleted and that is time to get serious about Laws and enforcement of those Laws before it’s too late and everything is gone ..

  14. Jay says:

    Crab hunting is not the issue, it’s new development that’s the problem.

    • Anonymous says:

      Correct, habitat loss is the main problem. I also think more are killed by vehicles than are harvested for food.

      • Anonymous says:

        Agreed 7:26 I haven’t been to LC for a while but driving there at night used to be a succession of, ‘crunch, crunch, crunch,’ as they ran under the wheels of your vehicle. At least it provided the birds and other creatures living there with plenty of food, I’m pretty sure even the crabs fed on the roadkill. That’s nature.

    • Johnny Rotten says:

      Agree, but maybe some crabs will evolve to dig holes through concrete, and jump over roads. Sorry for mentioning that taboo word in Cayman.

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