Mov­ing crocs the prob­lem

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

RE­SEARCHERS from the Univer­sity of Queens­land have snapped back at State Govern­ment plans to re­lo­cate ‘‘prob­lem croc­o­diles’’.

Dr Hamish Camp­bell from the Univer­sity’s School of Bi­o­log­i­cal Sciences and col­leagues from Aus­tralia Zoo have used satel­lite tag­ging to record the lo­ca­tion of male and fe­male adult croc­o­diles dur­ing the breed­ing and nest­ing sea­son to get a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of croc­o­dile man­age­ment and in­ter­ven­tion.

Dr Camp­bell said so­cial in­ter­ac­tions are im­por­tant to how croc­o­diles move and utilise new habi­tats.

‘‘It is nec­es­sary to con­sider croc­o­dile i nter­ac­tions prior to the im­ple­men­ta­tion of man­age­ment in­ter­ven­tions,’’ he said.

‘‘ Re­mov­ing the large dom­i­nant male croc­o­dile, ‘the boss croc’, will cre­ate a vac­uum in the area that could be filled by an­other male which may be less wary of hu­mans,’’ he said.

The study in­volved tag­ging adult males and fe­males in the Wen­lock River on the Cape York Penin­sula, and col­lect­ing data twice daily to cal­cu­late the move­ment pat­terns of the croc­o­diles.

‘‘It ap­pears that the boss crocs con­trol pro­duc­tive ar­eas that con­tain fe­males, and force out sub­or­di­nate males that can still be more than four me­tres in length,’’ Dr Camp­bell said.

‘‘Th­ese males roam over hun­dreds of kilo­me­tres in search of a mate, and are likely to be the croc­o­diles that turn up as prob­lem an­i­mals.’’

Dr Camp­bell said the study strongly rec­om­mends the im­pact of croc­o­dile re­moval on the so­cial dy­nam­ics of the pop­u­la­tion be thor­oughly eval­u­ated.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.