Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Paying respects to the Saltwater Crocodile

No sooner do I find a Saltwater Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) in Tyto - the first for about seven years - than plans are made to remove it. Which might be trickier than some think. Yes, I understand the Hinchinbrook Shire's worries. What if it eats a tourist? Specially when the shire's put out the red carpet and is allowing 48-hour freebies for travellers to park alongside the front lagoons, near the centre of Ingham. But the 2.5m croc - too small to be a real terror - is staying well away from possible interaction with anyone, hauling out most mornings at the western end of a treed island in the main lagoon, about 70m away from any track (and 800m from the freebie zone). And it is an attraction for some. Crocs and people get along in other parts of the shire, though a few menacing big old boys have been trapped and  relocated as part of Queensland Parks and Wildlife policy in the past year or two. Meantime, crocs don't have big appetites at present. So my Tyto mate can look  forward  to more sunbathing before any bait and traps are trundled in. What happened to the last one in Tyto? I think it paddled off down Palm Creek one night - through the centre of Ingham. 

No suggestion that Mungalla Station, not far east of Ingham, remove crocs from its considerable stretch of Palm Creek. I've been surveying birdlife at the station long enough to have become acquainted with a few of the toothy locals. They seldom bask quite so close to the track alongside the creek as the smiler above.

More often, it's a glimpse of a head and  body close to the water's edge.

Today, a touch of waterweed camouflage. Croc must have come up through weed, which stayed draped across its back until it slipped into deeper water as I walked closer. 

So, dangerous? Yes. Creatures of terror? Absolutely not. Just pay them the respect they deserve and let's survive together.


4 comments:

Pete Shanley said...

Interesting to read your thoughts (as a "Southerner" with minimal "experience" of crocs), great piks!

Tony Ashton said...

And already the trap is in place.

geoff from yea said...

I like your sentiments. Let them be known.

Tony Ashton said...

Hi Geoff. Preaching to the converted, I fear.