As hermit crabs grow, they require larger shells. So as they constantly move homes, they keep searching for shells that are of the right size.
Once a crab arrives at a suitable one, it leaves its old shell vacant.
Hermit crabs moving into their new homes:
These lively and vivid movements are amazing, and you can hear the sounds made by these hermit crabs as they are moving, searching for their “new apartment.”
However, these beautiful scenes and sounds are becoming more and more precious nowadays. It’s heartbreaking to see pictures and videos of hermit crabs dragging unnatural products like plastic bottles, plastic cups, and even Chucky dolls, like this one posted online.
As tourists like to pick up shells from the beach, hermit carbs sometimes have no choice but to live in such artificial products or rubbish. Such tragic scenes are more and more frequently seen in Taiwan, and around the world.
This held true for Gangkoui River, Kenting, a few years ago. However, about two years ago, the community development association of the area launched a campaign, collecting and recovering shells of various sizes, and placing them near the river in order for the hermit crabs to pick from. The results turned out to be surprisingly good.
More and more hermit carbs are finding their new homes, and scenes of them carrying plastic bottles have never been seen again since then.
“Around 300 shells are being replaced in just one night,” says local tour guide Gu Qingfang. “The coastal area often gather a lot of hermit crabs. Sometime we find on the next day that the hundreds of shells we put at night are all taken away by the crabs.”
Now, we finally have lovely videos like this:
Although the plan has been going well so far, more efforts need to be made to maintain it. “We are short of small and middle size shells for now.” Gu Qingfang encourages people to keep the shells after they eat seafood, clean them up, and donate them to the community development association, to together protect the environment and provide the hermit crabs safe places to live, wrote ETtoday.
Good news for eco-tour lovers here! Now their itinerary includes about two to three hours of nighttime. It’s the perfect time for ecological observation from May to September. Just by walking along the river, you can see various species of these lovely crabs.