The next time that you’re in your local natural history museum, don’t just look at the large animals in the dioramas — really look for those hidden small animals, too: a brown-headed cowbird near a bison, a Botta’s pocket gopher peeking from a burrow, or a Blue Echo Butterfly on a flower. These smaller details in scenes get as much attention from museum staff as the central figures.
Only Superman himself could chase and catch one of these lizards - the one I’m holding in the video had fallen into a bucket trap from which I retrieved it. Bucket traps are designed for exactly that purpose - for animals to fall into! Biologists and conservationists use them to discover what species of small animal, particularly reptiles and amphibians, small mammals and large insects, are living in the area. The traps are checked regularly, a note of any visitors is made, and the bucket guests are then released as quickly as possible into the habitat.
The daring 5-mile (8-kilometer) migration of Christmas Island’s adult red crabs begins with the wet season’s arrival in October or November. The crabs’ goal: move from the forest to the beaches en masse, breed, drop their eggs into the water, just before the turn of the high tide, and then return to center of the island.
This massive move of 50 million creatures is a spectacular sight. It’s also a challenge to keep them safe. As shown in the video above, Christmas Island National Park rangers do an immense amount of work to protect these animals as they traverse the roads that cross their path: cleaning up debris, constructing temporary fences, raking crabs across roads to avoid traffic, and closing some roads are all a part of the job.