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 17 Table 3: Annual ceiling for the harvesting of crocodiles and their eggs from the wild. Numbers for post hatching size classes are set for a calendar year, whereas egg numbers are set for a nesting season. The size of each category of crocodiles is indicated in total length (TL). The egg ceiling is based on live eggs. Stock 2009 2010 20111 2012 2013 Eggs 50 000 50 000 60 000 60 000 70 000 Hatchlings 500 500 500 500 500 Juveniles 400 400 400 400 400 Adults 500 500 500 500 500 1 The egg ceiling shown in 2011, 2012, and 2013 is an indicative increment based on appropriate monitoring results and sustainability considerations. Safari Hunting During the life of this plan the safari hunting of crocodiles will be trialed. All safari hunting must conform with the approval process and guidelines specified in Appendix 1. Safari hunting has been allocated a Territory-wide quota of 25 animals. This quota of 25 animals is included within the quota for the wild-harvesting of adult crocodiles (Table 3). A minimum size limit for crocodiles taken by safari hunters will be 3.5 m. For safari hunting the method is restricted to shooting (see Appendix 5) and the take of animals must comply with the Code of Practice. Precautionary elements The following attributes of the species and the harvest introduce a number of precautionary elements. Some of these can be applied as measures which can be implemented should a serious decline (see section 4.7) be detected that merits management intervention. Resilience of the species That the Northern Territory crocodile population has an inherently strong resilience and ability to rapidly recover is exemplified by the extraordinary recovery from near extinction after full protection in the 1970s. The resilience of the species is also supported by the current population dynamics in the Northern Territory where density dependant mechanisms appear to be limiting the recruitment of hatchlings into the population. A reduced density of larger crocodiles will reduce the impact of this intrinsic control mechanism and allow an increase in recruitment. The survey data shows that the population is shifting to proportionately larger crocodiles which are expected to increasingly suppress hatchling recruitment. An increased level of egg harvest is expected to have little impact on hatchling recruitment in such a scenario. The species is also highly mobile and able to disperse widely. Increased monitoring The regular population monitoring and the ability to increase the frequency of this monitoring provides a decision support mechanism to detect an adverse trend and trigger corrective actions within an appropriate time frame relative to the life cycle attributes of the Saltwater Crocodile (see section 4.7). Harvest Efficiency Currently not all eggs can be collected from an area due to the difficulty in finding nests, accessibility and the increasing costs with increased remoteness.