The Great Cuban “Migration” Is Just Getting Started

The Great Cuban

( – Migration is a natural process, one that numerous species do every year, even humans. For one creature living in Cuba, the migration has already begun, but it’s far from over. Millions of crabs will emerge from the forest and head for the water by the time the cycle is over.

A species of crab called Gecarcinus ruricola, or the black land crab, began its journey early this year, emerging from the forest around the end of March. These terrestrial decapods are heading for the Bay of Pigs to find mates and reproduce. Their journey is certainly amazing, but it does come with some perils; many of these crabs will die on their way to mating grounds.

In order to reach the Bay of Pigs, these decapods need to cross roads, which is an astonishing site for tourists but a nuisance to residents living in Cuba. The crab traffic is at its highest between April and May, but it can last into July. Authorities have already issued warnings to residents to avoid traveling during the morning or evening hours, which is when crabs are most active.

Even with authorities doing what they can, the Daily Mail claims around 3.5 million crabs will die as a result of being run over while crossing roads. On average it takes a black land crab about a minute and a half to make it across. While cars pose serious threats to the decapods, drivers also risk getting flat tires as the pincers of the crabs are sharp enough even to puncture hard rubber.

The migration may be an inconvenience, but 50-year-old hiking guide Amaury Urra has the right idea: These animals were there before humans, adding that locals have gotten used to the migration and do their best not to disrupt it.

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