Officers capture large crocodile in Alligator Creek
WILDLIFE officers removed a large crocodile from a creek near Rockhampton today after one was seen swimming towards a boat ramp earlier this month.
Department of Environment and Heritage Protection officers targeted and caught the 2.7-metre crocodile after sightings from two members of the public on Thursday, November 10.
Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles said it was the first crocodile removed within Rockhampton's Crocodile Urban Management area this year.
Alligator Creek is in the far north of Rockhampton, near Yaamba, and feeds into the Fitzroy River.
Dr Miles said the management plan targets aggressive crocodiles, or beasts more than two-metres long with an aim to deliver public safety and survival of the species in the wild.
Wildlife officers investigated and warning signs were deployed while a capture program was developed.
Dr Miles explained the Palaszczuk Government had committed $5.8 million over the next three years for crocodile management, including $2.7 million for a crocodile survey and monitoring program.
"We have also made the jobs of 10 wildlife officers permanent - their positions were only temporary under the LNP, so we are also creating more jobs in regional Queensland," he said.
The capture, and Dr Miles' comments, come just days after the LNP committed to a crocodile management plan to better protect locals and tourists in Far North Queensland.
On Saturday, Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls said if elected, an LNP Government would better manage the reptiles in a bid to improve public safety.
This would include more proactive removal of crocodiles from waters around major population centres such as Cairns, Townsville and tourist destinations such as Port Douglas.
"The LNP would proactively work with wildlife rangers and residents to identify and deal with problematic and aggressive crocodiles," he said.
"Those crocs will then be relocated to either national parks, wildlife reserves or registered crocodile farms."
Dr Miles said the Palaszczuk Government had committed to a state-wide crocodile count to help assess whether crocodile numbers are increasing or decreasing in some Queensland river systems.
"The crocodile survey and monitoring program will enable us to compare numbers against those recorded in the late 70s, 80s and 90s," he said.
Timely reports are of great assistance to EHP's crocodile management efforts as they are used in determining the numbers and movements of crocodiles in the area.
Wildlife officers investigate all sighting reports received.
The EHP warn no waterway in "Croc Country" should ever be regarded as crocodile free.
More crocodile stories and sightings:
Members of the public are reminded to always be CrocWise, in particular:
- Obey croc warning signs;
- Don't swim or let domestic pets swim in waters where crocs may live;
- Be aware that crocodiles also swim in the ocean;
- Stand back from the water when fishing or cast netting;
- Never provoke, harass or feed crocs;
- Never leave food, fish scraps or bait near the water, a camp site or boat ramp;
- Never interfere with or fish or boat near crocodile traps;
- Always supervise children, and
- Remember, you are responsible for your own safety in Croc Country.