[Coral-List] coconut crabs from Pacific Islands

cac at gate.sinica.edu.tw cac at gate.sinica.edu.tw
Fri Feb 26 22:15:46 EST 2010

Dear Coral-Listers

I am wondering will people in coral-list be, again, able to provide the link of researchers in the Pacific Islands to collect coconut crabs, Birgus latro, for DNA work. 
We started conservation project including restoration and genetic studies on this species about 4 years ago. I did posted in coral-list at that time and got a few responses. It took a while for us to have samples from Japan, Philippine, Indonesia, Chagos, Zanzibar, since this species is under the endangered species list of CITES. It took several paper works done for CITES business. 
We are waiting for the samples from Seychelles, thanks to all colleagues' effort in making this project going. We have some interesting results of these samples based on mitochondrial genes as well as 13 microsatellites. You are welcome to contact us for further information of Birgus latro, if you are interested.

Although Birgus latro is listed as category II endangered species in the CITES, the life history information for this species is not enough. As the habitat destruction and harvesting for food sources, it is suggested that Birgus latro is locally extinct in some Pacific Islands as well as islands in the Indian Ocean. It will be really good we will be able to obtain help from Pacific Island researchers to collect Birgus Latro for DNA work. Therefore, we will be able to cover the distribution range of this species across the Pacific and Indian Oceans. 

I will be very grateful if you can pass on this information to your colleagues who might be able to assist us.


Allen Chen, PhD
Research Fellow
Coconut crab conservation research group
Coral Reef Evolutionary Ecology and Genetics Lab
Biodiversity Research Centre, Academia Sinica
Taipei, 115, Taiwan

More information about the Coral-List mailing list