Shelling the Natives

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Shelling the Natives

Post by Guest » Thu Jan 13, 2005 8:20 am

I wanted to share this letter I recieved from some good people in the Florda Keys.From The Keys, lower Sugarloaf on the Ocean, what amounts to a seperate island with water on all 4 sides with bridge access. Most of the area is now Federal or State preserve, we even gave a conservation grant to the state.The area is a mix of wetland and high hammock. The crabs that we have not gotten shells for are dressed in old black photo canisters or medicine bottles that have washed up, or nothing at all...not fiting for these old guys, some are very cleaver in what they will wear for an emergency. There is no shortage of small shells, it is the crabs with 1/2 inch to over 1 inch dia abdomins...the ones the raccoons hunt. I have even sawn PVC pipe for armor. The coons have flocked here because we are the santuary, and sadly we have learn that 90% of the "enviromentalists" are simply businessmen looking for consulting jobs and have no interest in what is really happening.We are artists, limited in budget with a big heart. What we need now is more like a 1/2 gallon of shells that will take care of the breeding stock crabs protection...what the coming months bring is something else. Thick shells are best to stop the coons, this is limited food time here and the hunt is 24 hours.It's good people like this that truly make the world a better place. I am sending them a large package of medium to large shells at no cost. I feel its the least I could do.


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Shelling the Natives

Post by Guest » Mon Jan 17, 2005 7:28 pm

You most certainly can send shells if you would like to help. In fact there are miles of shoreline and anyone who would like to donate shells just PM me. I have permission to give out the address to all those interested in helping these crabs. We all take shells (here is a chance to give some back)I feel really good about my donation. (poor crab)Here is part of an email I just got recently about these crabs I thought was interesting.(I don't know how these crabs communicate, but they do. They seem to know that there is a group meeting going on at distances of a hunderd feet or more. I have watched they head, as the crow flys, right to a grouping....home trading, sex, gossip, don't know.Seems they like coffee grounds too. To counteract the akline coral, don't know.)I wonder if we should have a sticky post that stays up top. The more people that hear about and see these crabs the more help their going to get.


Guest

Shelling the Natives

Post by Guest » Tue Jan 18, 2005 1:25 pm

The hermies that need our help the most have abdomens 1/2"-1 1/2". These are the size crabs the racoons are hunting. I still cant get over the pics of that crab with the plastic lid on his ab.


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Shelling the Natives

Post by Guest » Tue Feb 15, 2005 5:16 am

Hello everyone!I want to thank all who have helped get these crabs covered up with such wonderful love, and shells too! I am just learning how to navigate this site, so I am a bit all over the place right now. I want to thank Frank ( Naples Sea Shell Co.) for helping me get started a program to help us find homes for the crabs in the lower Keys that have no homes. He came to the aid with a big 12x12x8 box that was gone in about a week. Frank did this without hesitation, and I have written many, many letters to shells companies for help, even to buy the damaged shells that they could not otherwise sell...nada, until Frank. The shells, if the guys had shells to beging with, were worn through on the bottoms from being dragged through the woods, the coral, the sand, and through time. I am trying to figure a way to create an outpost shell exchange that will have each donors name on it and take photos of the area to post on this site so that you can see the real world of the crabs in the wild. The box of shells that Frank sent was scattered only 30 or so feet from my house ( in a 2 by 2 foot square) and there is 18 miles of shore with the same problem. Two other crab humanitarians, Allison of New York, and Nicole of Pennsylvania, have sent boxes and they will be put in a new spot with their names noted. I will take photos of the spot, and from time to time new photos, so the exchange can be seen. A warm thank you to both of you...I can see the crabs going after these special shells like a shoe sale at the Macy's.Since this all began about a year ago, with the first big buy of a bucket of shells I bought, I have begun to understand things about these crabs that defy what "humans" believe of the animal world. For example, they can communicate for a distance which seems to be a hundred feet or so..they tell eachother about the shells, a water supply ( which I put out), cocoanuts ( which I put out). The location can change yet,like homing pigeons, they respond in a hour or so and take off in that direction. They climb trees...I don't know why yet, but they seem to sleep when they find a spot that insures that they aren't going to fall out and down to the ground.It is a wish that in seeking help from crab lovers that this does not turn into a mistake by exposing a location where they are native. There are only 6 or so houses in this 18 miles, and the access is a challenge with swamp, mosquitoes and wildness to face. The plant lovers, locals and tourists alike, have stripped the lower Keys of the native orchids and air plants, the sponges seem to be the current target. It is hard to understand that a tree here that is 3 feet high might be perhaps as much as fifty years old...poor soil, that makes everything living ( except humans) struggle to survive, grow, reproduce. When people take the survivors home, A tear comes to my eye. Please, lets keep this an exception to the history and let it stay native. So... come visit, we'll take photos, point at the amazing and be touched by what we see...but, lets leave them in their native home.Thanks to Wendy for the shells and the site to post the photos on, and I hope to have them up in the next week. To Frank, who was the only shell company to answer my plea, Nicole, and Allison too. I thank all, in advance, on behalf of the wild guys for your interest and help, and to those who wish to in the future. Wild crabs don't need fancy, they just need the protection, that is why the hero crab showed up in the photo canister and began this great rescue. All the crabs with new duds seem to be telling the others. I hope that the photos will give everyone a new and inspiring insite to these guys in the wild,Warm regards,BudBud Allen 15800 State Road 939AOld Pappy RoadSugaloaf Key, Florida 33042305-745-8450 home and work ( I am a glass artist, so chats may be short)

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Christa
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Shelling the Natives

Post by Christa » Tue Feb 15, 2005 5:58 am

Yep, the HCA did shell the natives last year in the Keys.We went on a kayaking trip to some outlying islands and saw wild hermies. The next night we came back and threw two bags and some boxes' worth of shells out on the beach. We did it at night because we didn't want anyone to come by and steal the shells because some of them were really nice. So imagine late at night driving up to a grassy area, there is no one in sight. You get out of the van and it's very quiet and you walk up to the water front. Somebody's light comes on and their dog starts barking. So you dig your hand in the shell bag and heave handfuls of shells into the shrubs at the water's edge before you bolt back to the van! We felt like we were doing a covert rescue mission or something. It was a great feeling. A lot of hermit crabs got shells that night.hc!Christa
~~ The HCA ~~ the original and still the best -- ACCEPT NO IMITATIONS
Ting-Tang (Walla walla bing bang!)
Crabbing since 1974
http://www.hermit-crabs.com

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