More than 2,000 sesarmid crabs (Metasesarma aubryi) were found dead on Monday on the main road circling Green Island (綠島).
The bodies of the crabs were discovered by Lin Teng-jung (林登榮), a cultural and historical researcher living on the island, who took pictures of the harrowing sight and uploaded them to a Facebook group he had set up to raise awareness of wild animals being killed by vehicles.
He said the crabs were most likely squashed on their way to or returning from the ocean to lay eggs, adding that most of them headed out to sea at dawn and were killed after they returned to land.
The unfortunate event continued well past 8am on Monday, with many females killed while still bearing their eggs, Lin said.
The S-curve along a slope near the Shihlang (石朗) diving area, which spans about 50m, has always been a hotbed for road accidents for sesarmid crabs, Lin said.
Once, he counted as many as 2,247 dead sesarmid crab bodies when he conducted research on terrestrial crabs being killed in road accidents on the main road of Green Island.
He said that such incidents surge every year during the Lunar New Year holidays, and in June and July when the ebb tides are the strongest, as the terrestrial crustaceans prefer to lay their eggs in the sea during crashing ebb tides.
Lin said warning signs have been set up on both ends of the accident-prone area, but they are barely visible after dark.
He urged motorcyclists on the road to go slower and heed the “passers-by.”
According to Taiwan Roadkill Observation Network, sesarmid crabs usually lay their eggs several hours after dusk and at dawn.
A common roadkill in both Kenting (墾丁) and on Green Island, the Web site once recorded 1,500 causalities on a 2km-long road within 24 hours.