Have you seen a crocodile?
SLSQ encourages anyone who spots a crocodile in Queensland to immediately report it to CrocWatch by phoning 1300130372. It’s important to report all crocodile sightings, even if you’ve reported the animal before.
Every year millions of people flock to Queensland to enjoy our beautiful and pristine beaches. However, while our state is home to stretches of unrivalled coastline, it’s also home to a number of unique and potentially dangerous marine creatures, including crocodiles.
Crocodiles are a natural part of North Queensland’s aquatic environment and, while attacks on humans are rare, they can and do occur.
According to the Queensland Department of Environment and Science, there have been 14 confirmed crocodile attacks in North Queensland since 2008. Tragically, of these, five attacks were fatal. However, it’s important to note, there have been no attacks recorded on beachgoers swimming between the red and yellow flags at a patrolled beach.
Importantly, SLSQ continues to take a hands-on and proactive approach when it comes to protecting and educating beachgoers about crocodile safety, with the aim of reducing the risk of further attacks from occurring.
SLSQ encourages anyone who spots a crocodile in Queensland to immediately report it to CrocWatch on 1300 130 372.
The Department of Environment and Science records and investigates all crocodile sightings and, where required, will take appropriate action in accordance with the Queensland Crocodile Management Plan.
By reporting any and all crocodile sightings, you’ll be helping to identify crocodile movements and patterns across North Queensland. This information is vital when it comes to developing effective crocodile management and safety strategies moving forward.
CrocWatch also provides data on crocodile management activities for all estuarine crocodiles. However, it’s important to note, CrocWatch should not be taken as advice on where it may or may not be safe to swim.
Crocodiles can be found in any natural aquatic environment north of Gladstone. As such, it’s important for people to exercise caution and put safety first at all times while in and around the water.
Further information about CrocWatch can be found online.
Crocodiles are both highly territorial and opportunistic feeders; as a result, it’s important to recognise that attacks on humans can and do occur from time-to-time.
However, there are a number of simple safety steps you can take to help protect yourself, minimise the risk of a crocodile encounter, and ensure you remember your time in beautiful North Queensland for all the right reasons.
CrocWise safety tips:
- Always remember that crocodiles can be found in ALL natural waterways across North Queensland and, as such, it’s important to exercise caution at all times when in and around the water.
- Always look for, and obey, crocodile warning signs;
- Never enter the water where crocodiles may be present, even if there are no warning signs visible;
- Avoid swimming at night, dusk, and dawn;
- Always stand at least a few metres back from the water’s edge – crocodiles have been known to lunge at people and animals from the water;
- Similarly, when fishing, always stand a few metres back from the water’s edge and never stand on logs or branches overhanging the water;
- Understand that crocodiles usually hunt by staying submerged and can attack in knee-deep water, so wading can still be dangerous;
- Look out for crocodile slide marks on the bank, and stay well away from them;
- If boating, never dangle your arms or legs over the side of your craft;
- Dogs can be attractive prey to crocodiles – keep your pets on a lead and away from the water’s edge;
- Never approach, feed, harass, or try to interact with a crocodile, regardless of how big or small it is;
- Crocodiles have been known to attack people in tents pitched too close to the water’s edge. If camping, set up at least two metres above the high water mark and at least 50 metres from the water’s edge;
- It’s important to be extra vigilant during breeding season (September to April), when crocodiles will defend their nests and territory more aggressively and are more frequently spotted; and
- Report all crocodile sightings on 1300 130 372 even if you’ve reported the animal before.
For more CrocWise information, please visit the Department of Environment and Science.
Beach safety tips:
- Swim at patrolled beaches, between the red and yellow flags – surf lifesavers and lifeguards are constantly monitoring the water for crocodiles and other marine creatures;
- Read and obey all crocodile warning signs;
- Talk to the surf lifesavers or lifeguards on duty before entering the water.
- Surf lifesavers and lifeguards will close a beach for at least four hours following a crocodile sighting – if this occurs, stay out of the water; and
- Never swim at dawn, dusk, or at night.
For more beach safety information, visit lifesaving.com.au/beach-safety.