Beaches in Darwin Harbour under crocodile threat

Published on : Friday, May 29, 2015

Darwin_2646Minister for Parks and Wildlife Bess Price has congratulated the public for calling in the recent crocodile sightings and has urged people to Be Crocwise at all times.

“The community is the number one source of alerts to the presence of crocodiles around our popular beaches,” Mrs Price said.

“Every report is taken seriously and allows immediate action to help keep our beaches safer.

“Darwin Harbour has a 50km ‘no tolerance’ zone for saltwater crocodiles which includes our popular beaches in and around Casuarina, Nightcliff and Gunn Point, the Darwin rural area and extends right through to the edge of the Adelaide River.

“The Crocodile Management Team works hard to remove crocodiles from this large zone with 26 permanent and six temporary traps checked every week.

“Night time spotlight and survey patrols are regularly undertaken and additional runs are done when animals are reported.

“In response to the latest sightings, the team has done three night time spotlight surveys, four day time boat patrols, installed another trap in Sandy Creek within Casuarina Beach and had rangers on the beach daily attempting to locate any crocodiles.

“The Giles Government is committed to public safety and is trialling the use of a helicopter around our beaches as another way to detect crocodiles.

“However, as with all waterways in the Top End, there is no guarantee the water is safe, especially in the Harbour because there are so many areas crocodiles can enter the harbour and much of the Top End is important crocodile breeding habitat.

“While crocodiles move around all year, at this time of year when the rains have stopped and the water starts to recede, crocodiles move back into permanent water, pushing some crocodiles into the harbour as they look for areas where there are fewer animals competing for food and territory.

“Territorians have a great outdoor lifestyle with many people living and participating in recreation activities in and near waterways.

“Education is critical in keeping people safe, so Parks and Wildlife continue to place a high priority on its ‘Be Crocwise’ program. People need to Be Crocwise and understand how to enjoy our water safely as it could mean the difference between life and death. There is no room for complacency when it comes to crocodiles.

“The program strives to raise and maintain community awareness about the real dangers of crocodiles and change people’s behaviour when in, or around water.

Anyone who sights a crocodile near Darwin beaches should call 0419 822 859 to report it to the Parks and Wildlife Crocodile Management Unit as it will allow immediate action.

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