Record number of salties caught in 2012

A RECORD number of 314 saltwater crocodiles have been removed from Northern Territory waterways in 2012 as part of the Parks and Wildlife Commission NT crocodile management program.

Parks and Wildlife Commission NT senior wildlife ranger Tom Nichols said this included 295 removed from the Darwin region and 19 from the Katherine region.

“This year’s total tally is the highest on record, beating the previous record of 306 set two years ago and surpassing the 284 caught in 2011,” Mr Nichols said.

“With more than six salties removed from Top End waters every week on average, this should serve as a reminder to the public to be crocwise.

“This means behaving responsibly in and around Territory waters and not putting yourself or others at risk of crocodile attack.

“The crocodile management team has been able to remove more crocodiles from Territory waters during the past few years through the use of more traps and custom fitted croc boats that include specifically fitted harpoon racks, crocodile slide, self-draining deck and side rails.”

Of the 295 saltwater crocodiles captured this year in the Darwin region, 215 were removed from Darwin Harbour including a 4.26m male on 22 May.

The largest of the 80 saltwater crocodiles removed from Darwin’s outer region was a 4.85m male on 23 April, caught at Corroboree Billabong, which was also the largest croc removed all year in the Top End.

“A total of 28 crocodiles have been removed from Territory waterways this month, which is a timely reminder that wet season conditions can lead to the increased presence of crocodiles,” Mr Nichols said.

“We urge everyone to be extremely cautious around all waterways and to heed safety signs.”

Estuarine crocodiles are common in the Top End and can inhabit any waterways including freshwater systems, billabongs and low areas subject to flooding.

To report saltwater crocodile sightings in the Katherine region ring 0407 958 405.

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