Management program for the saltwater crocodile in the Northern Territory of Australia 2009-2013
Fukuda, Yusuke; Delaney, Robyn; Leach, Gregory J
Northern Territory. Department of Natural Resources, Environment, The Arts and Sport
E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT
The draft program is open for public comment to Friday 29 May 2009. Includes Summary document.
Date:2009-04; Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).
Crocodylus porosus -- Northern Territory; Crocodiles -- Conservation -- Northern Territory; Crocodiles -- Control -- Northern Territory; Crocodiles -- Government Policy -- Northern Territory
Northern Territory Government
60 pages : illustration, maps ; 30 cm.
Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)
Northern Territory Government
Draft Management Program for the Saltwater Crocodile in the Northern Territory 6 Northern Territory exported on average approximately 6000 skins per year both interstate and internationally. The meat and other products of crocodiles such as teeth and skulls are also marketed. Whilst the farming industry is small in number of businesses (under 10), it is substantial in economic output with an annual turnover in the order of several tens of millions of dollars. The Northern Territory crocodile industry currently directly employs between 60 100 people. Safari hunting is a specialised form of wild harvest where a paying client undertakes the harvest. The Northern Territory Government remains in favour of safari hunting, particularly in remote areas and recognises that it must be strictly controlled and all activities must conform to the highest possible standards of animal welfare and stewardship of the environment. During the life of this Management Program the NTG will trial a framework for safari hunting with an emphasis on the opportunities for Indigenous participation, employment and benefit. Benefits to landholders that flow from trophy hunting of crocodiles will be considerable, particularly for Aboriginal landholders, who currently host or run their own pig, banteng and buffalo safari hunting operations. Safari hunting of banteng, buffalo and pigs already attracts local and interstate hunters who pay not only trophy fees but also for accommodation and other expenses. The inclusion of crocodile safari hunting is expected to increase domestic and international interest in the Northern Territorys existing safari hunting industry. Safari hunting of crocodiles will increase the financial benefits of the current wild harvesting program and will provide a much greater return per animal than other wild harvesting. Crocodiles taken by safari hunters will be taken within the current quota for wild harvesting of adult crocodiles. Given the financial gains that are likely to accrue, it is expected that safari hunting will increase the incentive for landholders to protect crocodiles and crocodile habitats. Safari hunting is not intended to be used as a means of controlling nuisance crocodiles. The Northern Territorys crocodile management programs provide an incentive for Aboriginal communities and land managers to conserve crocodile breeding habitats through payments to landholders by harvesters for each egg or animal collected from their property. Tourism Crocodiles contribute significantly to visitor knowledge of the Top End and viewing crocodiles is an important expectation or even a must for most Top End visitors. In visitor surveys, Tremblay (2003) reported that crocodile viewing dominates the best experiences in wildlifeviewing. While tourists generally prefer to see crocodiles in the wild and that this is an increasingly sought after experience, attractions featuring captive crocodiles are also rated highly and are popular destinations. The Top End offers a wide range of experiences from observing in the wild; modified behaviour in the wild; research/educational displays and captive encounters. 2.2 Population Estimates and Trends In the Northern Territory, commercial hunting of C. porosus began in 1945 and continued until 1971 when the species was protected due to the marked decline of the population. After protection in 1971, the population of C. porosus in the Northern Territory increased from approximately 3000 non-hatchlings (individuals >0.6 m total length) in 1971 to between 30 000 and 40 000 individuals in 1984 (Webb et al. 1984). The population of wild non-hatchling C. porosus has continued to increase and in 1994 was estimated to be between 70 000 and 75 000 non-hatchling individuals (Webb et al. 1994).