It’s working – That’s the word from Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch who says the Government’s Crocwise education program is proving vital in keeping Queenslanders safe near waterways in crocodile country.
“Our Government has committed $630,000 to Crocwise this financial year and we are increasing the reach and impact of this vital education program. This year we are commencing the development of a web-based CrocWatch platform so people will be able to submit sighting reports from their smart phones, and we are also looking to expand our presence across different media.”
The Crocwise program informs communities about staying safe in crocodile country and provides guidelines about how to stay safe.
“A key message includes urging all Queenslanders to report a crocodile as soon as they spot one. The Department of Environment and Science investigates all reports it receives, and problem crocodiles are always targeted for removal. Figures are proving that this reporting method, and an increase in education, is working.”
Ms Enoch sys more than 600 crocodile sightings had been reported so far this year, which is almost double the number that was reported in the entire 2015 calendar year.
“This tells us that people are becoming more aware of what to do when they see a crocodile – to report it, so wildlife officers can respond quickly and effectively.”
“So far, the data is telling us that on average there is less than one crocodile per kilometre of waterway in Queensland, compared to 5 to 10 crocodiles per kilometre in the Northern Territory.”
“It is also worth noting that the Department can receive multiple reports of the same crocodile, sometimes up to 20 or 30 reports.”