The Queensland Government is committed to a crocodile management program that delivers appropriate protection of public safety while enabling the ongoing survival of estuarine crocodiles in the wild.
If you live in or are visiting Croc Country, it is your responsibility to be Croc Wise and aware of the different levels of risk so you can make informed decisions, for example, when considering entering the water.
Queensland Crocodile Management Plan
The Queensland Crocodile Management Plan (QCMP) is the overarching framework for the statewide management of public safety risks associated with estuarine crocodiles in Queensland. Under the QCMP crocodile management responses are based on crocodile management zones whereby crocodiles are removed in certain circumstances across different areas of the state in accordance with the level of risk posed.
The QCMP has six zones (A to F) that apply throughout Queensland. The location of each zone is detailed in the zone maps.
One of the benefits of the QCMP is that it provides greater information on the risks posed by crocodiles in each zone, how crocodiles are intended to be managed by the department in each zone, and the key Crocwise behaviours community members can practise to minimise the risk of crocodile attacks within each zone.
The Queensland Chief Scientist, Professor Hugh Possingham, was appointed Chair of an independent expert committee tasked with reviewing and evaluating the effectiveness of the program.
Read more about the committee’s review, its report and recommendations and the department’s response.
Crocodile management zones
Barrier and removal zone
A ‘barrier and removal zone’ is suited to areas where there are physical barriers that are generally effective in preventing crocodiles from entering the area. This applies, for example, to Aplins Weir in Townsville in the dry season. Any crocodile in this area is targeted for removal, regardless of size or behaviour.
Active removal zone
An ‘active removal zone’ is suited to areas of rivers, creeks and wetlands where crocodiles are frequently in close proximity to large urban populations. All crocodiles, regardless of size or behaviour are targeted for removal.
Targeted management zone
A ‘targeted management zone’ is suited to areas that are frequented by large numbers of people, due to being near an urban centre or popular swimming areas and are also frequented by crocodiles. Crocodiles 2 metres or greater in length and crocodiles displaying dangerous behaviour are targeted for removal.
A ‘transitory zone’ is suited to areas where crocodiles are often seen passing through but are not core habitat, such as beaches. Crocodiles 2 metres or greater in length and any crocodiles displaying dangerous behaviour are targeted for removal. Note that it is generally very difficult to remove crocodiles from open water.
General management zone
A ‘general management zone’ is suited to areas that are typical habitat for crocodiles but are not near a large urban centre, as well as other areas with varied crocodile numbers that are not otherwise zoned. Essentially, this zone covers the remainder of Croc Country which is defined as the area north of the Boyne River, near Gladstone. Crocodiles displaying dangerous behaviour are targeted for removal.
Atypical habitat zone
An ‘atypical habitat zone’ is suited to areas that are not typical habitat for crocodiles – e.g., beyond their typical southernmost extent. Areas in this zone include waterways south of the Boyne River. Any crocodile found in Zone F is automatically targeted for removal after a sighting has been confirmed, regardless of size or behaviour. This includes crocodiles in the Mary River.
The crocodile management zones are shown on the following crocodile management zone maps:
- Overview map of Queensland Crocodile Management Zones
- Cairns Regional Council map
- Cassowary Coast Regional Council map
- Douglas Shire Council map
- Gladstone Regional Council map
- Hinchinbrook Shire Council map
- Mackay Regional Council map
- Mareeba Shire Council map
- Rockhampton Regional Council map
- Townsville City Council map
Why the QCMP is important
The QCMP provides a balanced approach between crocodile conservation and public safety by outlining how the Queensland Government manages crocodiles, including removal in certain circumstances, in accordance with the level of risk posed across different areas of the state.
The plan also highlights the key safety messages for residents and visitors in Croc Country.
Download the QWildlife app to report crocodile sightings.
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