Crocodile Migration Becoming A Problem For North Queenslanders
With rising water temperatures, salt water crocs are looking for a new place to live
Residents of the Coastal Queensland town Russell Heads are seeing a rise in the local crocodile numbers. The waterways that were once a place for locals to swim and water-ski are now a no-go zone, with saltwater crocs making the rivers and oceans their new home.
While there were only 176 crocodile sightings in 2010, now in 2018 that number has nearly quadrupled, and since hunting was banned in 1970’s the number of crocodiles in the wild has gone from 3,000 to closer to 150,000.
Rainforest biologist; professor Stephan Williams has tracked animal behaviour in the past 15 years and has seen animals head for cooler ground to escape rising temperatures.
“They’re a big reptile, They’re very dependent like any reptile on temperature directly for their metabolism, for their breeding. So, with warming temperatures, with warming water, it’s inevitable that their distribution will shift to maintain their comfort zone.”
If waters continue to heat up, we could potentially see crocs in areas further south; such as Moreton Bay near Brisbane.
Federal MP Bob Katter is calling for changes.
“We north Queenslanders are very very angry… the crocodiles are protected, and the people are removed. Well you just took all of our recreation away from us.”
If things don’t change, who knows what the future holds? Could crocodiles potentially occupy the majority of Australian shorelines?