Croc­o­dile sur­vey re­veals Qld di­vide

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Scott Tib­balls

DE­SPITE a gen­eral con­tent­ment with croc­o­dile man­age­ment among Queens­lan­ders, a re­port re­leased by the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment re­veals a sig­nif­i­cant di­vide in pre­ferred man­age­ment op­tions.

In the re­port based on a pub­lic sur­vey re­leased by the De­part­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Her­itage Pro­tec­tion, half of al­most 2000 re­spon­dents nom­i­nated a ‘bal­anced’ ap­proach to man­age­ment, where man­age­ment is a bal­ance between con­ser­va­tion and safety.

In croc­o­dile coun­try, the per­cent­age isn’t much higher at 52.7 per cent, but the dif­fer­ence between re­gions be­comes clearer when re­spon­dents picked between a con­ser­va­tion­ist ap­proach and one where croc­o­diles are treated as dan­ger­ous an­i­mals.

In Far North Queens­land, 13.87 per cent of re­spon­dents wanted man­age­ment pro­grams to treat croc­o­diles as dan­ger­ous an­i­mals, but in South­ern Queens­land only 3.5 per cent did.

The con­ser­va­tion­ist ap­proach is much more pop­u­lar in re­gions out­side of croc­o­dile coun­try, with 50.33 per cent in South­ern Queens­land opt­ing for con­ser­va­tion, while in the whole of croc­o­dile coun­try only 25.95 se­lected the same.

Con­ser­va­tion was more pop­u­lar than treat­ing croc­o­diles as dan­ger­ous an­i­mals in five of the six Queens­land re­gions, with only re­spon­dents in Mackay, Isaac and the Whit­sun­days go­ing the other way, but not by much. (16.54 per cent for con­serve, 18.11 per cent for dan­ger­ous.)

Culling was un­pop­u­lar, with only 3 per cent of all re­spon­dents nom­i­nat­ing it in ‘other’.

Croc­o­dile re­moval was also ex­plored in the sur­vey, with par­tic­i­pants asked what they be­lieved was the best re­sponse to the pres­ence of a croc­o­dile in ur­ban ar­eas.

Al­most 70 per cent of re­sponses in croc­o­dile coun­try sup­ported leav­ing croc­o­diles alone in ur­ban ar­eas, but if croc­o­diles are ag­gres­sive the re­sponses were heav­ily in favour of re­mov­ing them at 76.9 per cent, but in the rest of Queens­land only 58 per cent of re­spon­dents sup­ported re­mov­ing ag­gres­sive crocs from ur­ban ar­eas.

In croc­o­dile coun­try sup­port for re­moval of croc­o­diles over 2m in ur­ban ar­eas fell short of ma­jor­ity sup­port at 47.4 per cent, while south­ern Queens­lan­ders came in at just over 20 per cent sup­port.

Aware­ness of the term ‘Croc­wise’ was gen­er­ally very high across the state at 75 .3 per cent, and the high­est (un­sur­pris­ingly) in Far North Queens­land at 84.6 per cent.

Prob­lems with the Croc­wise ap­proach arise in aware­ness of who to con­tact about a croc­o­dile sight­ing. The State Gov­ern­ment, the author­ity that re­sponds to croc sight­ings, was the third most pop­u­lar choice at 19.7 per cent, be­hind the lo­cal coun­cil and ‘other’ which topped out at 28 per cent.

The re­port has helped in­form DEHP at­ti­tudes to­wards croc­o­dile man­age­ment.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.