Territory Stories

Management program for the saltwater crocodile in the Northern Territory of Australia 2009-2013



Management program for the saltwater crocodile in the Northern Territory of Australia 2009-2013


Fukuda, Yusuke; Delaney, Robyn; Leach, Gregory J

Issued by

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

Publisher name

Northern Territory Government

Place of publication





60 pages : illustration, maps ; 30 cm.

File type





Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Northern Territory Government



Related links

http://hdl.handle.net/10070/214159[Final Edition]

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Draft Management Program for the Saltwater Crocodile in the Northern Territory 10 The program allows for nuisance crocodiles to be killed and used directly for skin and meat production or captured and used as stock in crocodile farms. Because released crocodiles tend to return quite rapidly to sites of capture (Walsh and Whitehead 1993) and transport and handling is costly, nuisance crocodiles are not relocated. The number of animals that have been captured each year under the nuisance crocodile program has varied over time (Table 2). This variation over time is likely to reflect both the increase in the general crocodile population and fluctuations in crocodile activity between years owing to climatic variability (Nichols and Letnic 2008). These figures include crocodiles captured from Darwin Harbour (including Shoal Bay and some tributaries), the Darwin rural area, as well as some from Katherine and other populated or recreation areas. Table 2: The number of nuisance C. porosus crocodiles removed by Parks and Wildlife staff each calendar year between 1999 and 2008 Year Nuisance Crocodiles 1999 148 2000 182 2001 156 2002 149 2003 198 2004 228 2005 215 2006 220 2007 243 2008 233 2.5 History of Use 2.5.1 Indigenous harvest and use Crocodile meat and eggs are thought to have been used as a food source by Aboriginal people for up to 40,000 years (McBryde 1979, Flood 1983). The value of eggs to Indigenous communities lay in the protein they provided to people. In the initial phases of the Northern Territory program in the 1970s nests were bought from landowners for 12 dozen chicken eggs to compensate for the lost nutritional value (G. Webb pers. Comm.). The importance of crocodiles in Aboriginal culture is reflected in a complex system of totems and ceremonies which is still evident in northern Australia today (Lanhupuy 1987). Section 122 of the TPWC Act provides for customary harvest (other than for the purpose of sale) of crocodiles and their eggs by Aboriginal people. The number of eggs and nonhatchling crocodiles traditionally harvested annually in 1990s was estimated to be around 2000 individuals (PWCNT 1998). Recent evidence suggests that the contemporary subsistence use of crocodiles in areas where they are relatively abundant is negligible (T Griffiths (NRETAS) and J Altman (ANU), pers. comm.). No dedicated monitoring is required.