Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Greg Hunt MP
15 April 2005
On Wednesday 13 April, rangers removed a 3.5 metre male saltwater crocodile from the Maguk (Barramundie Gorge), creek in Kakadu National Park.
The crocodile was captured two days after baited traps were set in the popular swimming area.
"In the past three weeks, rangers have begun surveying swimming holes, rivers and creeks to prepare for Kakadu's opening in the dry season," Environment and Heritage Parliamentary Secretary Greg Hunt said.
"It's all part of Kakadu's Crocodile Management Strategy, which balances the protection of magnificent wildlife with visitor safety."
The expert behind crocodile management in Kakadu is ranger Garry Lindner. After twenty years, he's renowned around the Territory for his understanding of crocodiles and their behaviour.
"At this time of year after the wet, managing the crocs is a huge job for us," Garry Lindner said.
"We go up in helicopters to survey the waterways and our district rangers walk the ground they can get to by day and lay out crocodile detection buoys and baited traps.
"At night we go out in teams of two or three, looking for tracks on river banks and hunting for the crocs' distinctive aroma. We often find them from the boat when our spotlights catch the shining red of their eyes.
"Freshies are generally shy of people and harmless unless they are annoyed or visitors provoke them. Where we find an inquisitive or aggressive freshie we may relocate it, or tag it and monitor its behaviour.
"But we have growing numbers of saltwater crocodiles moving further and further upstream - and large crocodiles are dangerous to humans. Under the park's Crocodile Management Strategy, we remove salties from locations where swimming is allowed and where visitor safety is threatened.
"We come back and check the buoys and traps throughout the season.
"Kakadu is crocodile country," Garry Lindner said.
"If you're boating, fishing, walking or camping - please obey the crocodile warning signs. Crocs are a vital part of this fantastic World Heritage Area."
Fiona Murphy (Mr Hunt's office) 0423 577 045