Gladstone's waterways monitored for crocodile activity
SPECULATION surrounding the extent of Gladstone's crocodile population could soon be put to rest, with the State Government completing the first stage of a scientific survey of Queensland's estuarine crocodile population.
The three-year study, the most comprehensive in more than a decade, is aimed at determining not just the population of the state's crocodiles, but also their size and distribution.
Specially-trained wildlife officers from the Department of Environment and Science surveyed more than 2000km of waterways across Queensland last year, including night-time vessel based surveys in waterways around Gladstone.
Delivering the Queensland Crocodile Management Update in Cairns earlier this month, Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said night and daytime surveys were also carried out in six waterways south of Rockhampton, and no crocodiles were observed.
Though some locals remain skeptical, the preliminary report acknowledges crocodile sightings are known to occur as far south as the Boyne River.
Spinnaker Park Beach was also closed for almost a week last September after a 2-3 metre crocodile was spotted swimming in Gladstone Harbour.
While the raw data from the survey can not yet be released, Ms Enoch said once the results from the full three-year program were analysed, the Government would review its approach to crocodile management and consider "how best to communicate about how to stay Crocwise in croc country".
The program is expected to conclude late next year and a report will be prepared in 2020.