January 15th 2008
Watch out for crocs in floodwaters
People in flooded areas should be watchful for crocodiles and take extra care, warns the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS).
QPWS Conservation Services Team Leader Scott Sullivan said QPWS had received crocodile sighting reports from Port Douglas, Cairns, Tully, and Mackay within the last week.
"Crocodiles tend to move about at this time of year, and floodwaters can certainly affect their whereabouts," Mr Sullivan said.
"Floodwaters can displace crocodiles and wash them downstream.
"Crocodiles might also move about looking for a quiet place to wait for floodwaters to recede.
"We would expect the number of croc sightings to increase at this time of year with nesting season and the wet season in full swing.
"People need to take responsibility for their own safety and remain cautious when involved in activities on or near the water," he said.
Mr Sullivan said floods were an important part of the crocodiles' life cycle, as they helped to disperse crocodiles throughout our waterways and coastal areas.
"Flooding can certainly help dispersal, but there may also be negative impacts on the crocodile population.
"It is nesting season at the moment and research has shown that if a crocodile nest is flooded for six hours or more, the embryos will suffocate," he said.
"These reptiles are an important part of Queensland's biodiversity and a vital component of the natural environment.
"Never approach or provoke a crocodile.
"Be croc-wise in croc country, and if you see a crocodile report it to your nearest QPWS office or the EPA hotline 1300 130 372," he said.
More information about being croc-wise is at www.epa.qld.gov.au
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