Keeping tabs on river croc

A THREE-metre crocodile which surfaced near skiers in the Fitzroy River will be trapped and fitted with a satellite tracking device, it was announced yesterday.

Environment Minister Desley Boyle said during the Rockhampton Parliamentary sitting that the world-first project, already used in far north Queensland, would be used in the Fitzroy River.

"I know some people are concerned about the presence of a three-metre crocodile in the Fitzroy, and it's one we'll try to trap,'' she said.

Researchers will use minor surgery to attach the satellite tracking equipment to the large scales between the crocodile's shoulders.

"Tracking him will show us where he moves and give us a better indication of whether he is a threat and whether we should consider relocation.''

Ms Boyle said the crocodile was part of a breeding pair in the Fitzroy.

She said the survival rate of their offspring was very low, with only one crocodile surviving from 18 eggs laid in February.

Ms Boyle said the removal of problem crocodiles, something called for by croc expert John Lever and Rockhampton City Council, would not guarantee a crocodile-free river.

"Living in croc country means crocwise behaviour is essential,'' she said.

"We will step up the Crocwise public education campaign to remind people how to live safely with crocodiles.''

Earlier this week Mr Lever said tracking devices were not the solution. He will meet with Ms Boyle today to raise his concerns.



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