Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - REAL ESTATE -

As I was away, I missed the re­cent meet­ing on croc man­age­ment.

From the com­ments, all showed fi­nan­cial con­cerns for the tourism in­dus­try and how the rep­u­ta­tion of the beaches would be af­fected.

There was com­plete dis­re­gard for any con­ser­va­tion views as is held by the EHP.

It could be ar­gued that I have an in­ter­est in pro­tect­ing crocs for my busi­ness but as a con­ser­va­tion­ist I be­lieve their pro­tec­tion is para­mount!

I have walked my dog on Wonga Beach for the last seven years and watched for crocs and have never seen one there. On my tours, guests spot “lo­godiles” fre­quently.

As for tourists be­ing afraid of crocs, I dis­agree. Hu­mans are cu­ri­ous and want to see them.

One writer said he had fre­quent sight­ings of the same large crocs, which tells me in­creas­ing num­bers of peo­ple ar­riv­ing here amount to the per­cep­tion that the num­bers are in­creas­ing rapidly, when they are ac­tu­ally see­ing the same ones!

By 1974 the pop­u­la­tion had al­most been wiped out. They were then pro­tected and the num­bers re­cov­ered but are grad­u­ally sta­bil­is­ing to a low den­sity (check the EHP web­site)

As a tour guide/op­er­a­tor on the Dain­tree River for 29 years I have not seen an in­crease in their num­bers.

I be­lieve that the EHP won’t let fi­nan­cial con­cerns in­ter­fere with the wel­fare of na­tive an­i­mals to the level that the lo­cals of Port Dou­glas are de­mand­ing!

Bruce Belcher, Dain­tree River

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