Preserving the Natural Exotics; Visitors Prohibited to buy Walnut Crabs in Raja Ampat
TIMESHONGKONG, JAKARTA – Raja Ampat’s beauty in West Papua successfully anesthetizes visitors. So beautiful! That’s why many people say Raja Ampat is a piece of heaven that was dropped on earth.
Even so, there is rule in Raja Ampat. What is that? The tour guide prohibits travelers to buy walnut crabs (Birgus latro).
International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) places canary crabs as a vulnerable species.
In Indonesia it's self, walnut crabs are included in the list of protected animals in accordance with Minister of Forestry Decree No.12 / KPTS-II / Um / 1987 and PP No.7 of 1999 concerning Preservation of Plants and Animals.
Walnut crabs are also often called coconut crabs, because of their shrewdness to peel the coconut using their sharp claws.
Actually this animal isn't a crab, but a type of umang umang that is very advanced in terms of evolution. These animals can be found on islands in the Indian Ocean and parts of the Pacific Ocean. These animals also usually live in areas with many coconut trees around.
The size of adult canary crabs can be very large and can reach 1 meter if counted from toe to toe. In the wild without human intervention, canary crabs can reach the age of 40 to 60 years.
Because of its shape and taste that are claimed very exotic, the demand for walnut crabs is quite a lot. Unfortunately, the existence of these crabs has become increasingly rare due to the large demand but lack of conservation.
In Raja Ampat, especially in Piaynemo, you can find several people who sell walnut crabs. Some restaurants also serve dishes made from walnut crabs. Remember the message of the tour guides there. Let's go on a smart trip, help to preserve nature by not buying and not consuming walnut crabs. (*)