Magnetic Island North Queensland
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A young koala's beach adventure

October 30th 2008
Is Wighty Houdini heading home?

W H at Picnic Bay While Island business people and local politicians fume at the presence of Wighty Houdini, the elusive crocodile which has been visiting Magnetic Island for the last three weeks, the EPA is now about to bring in a helicopter to track the satellite-wired beastie when his location beacon records his position again this afternoon.

Hopes are, no doubt, building that today's GPS position of W.H., which comes in from the transmitter glued to his back and is uploaded to a satellite once every five days, will enable the EPA to finally catch up with him. But after two days of zero sightings around Magnetic, it may just be that W.H. has reverted to the astonishing pattern of homeward movement, now being studied about his species, and is again heading north and for home at the tip of Cape York.

EPA's Manager of Wildlife, Mike Devery, told Magnetic Times that the croc, was relocated into a National Park at Barramundi Creek, also known as Combe Creek or, more appropriately, Big Salty Creek, about 50 kms south of Townsville. It was a location which was low in croc density and therefore likely, it was thought, to be a spot where a new croc would make the place home.

The EPA's Croc's in Space program has shown that crocs on the Cape have travelled 450kms to get home. Mike Devery described the Barramundi Creek relocation as an "order of magnitude" greater relocation. About 1000kms in total. One might then assume that, if W.H. evades the EPA and makes it home to Bamaga it would be a new record and perhaps place saltwater crocs as the most homesick reptiles on the planet.

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Is Wighty Houdini heading home?
 
5 comments
 
Dr. Lea M. Scherl
October 30th 2008
I have to say it is not just island business and local politicians but the many often forgotten island residents which have been curtailed of an important amenity with social, health and well-being consequences that should also be factored in when assessing and reporting (even anecdotally) the many social impacts of this "experiment". I wish Magnetic Times could do a bit more reporting re. the impacts on the day-to-day lives of local residents too.
 
Dylan Campbell
October 30th 2008
I can't believe that they have only set the transmitter up to send a signal every 5 days. Who's bright idea was it to do research on it and only receive limited data? Not only is this act potentially risking peoples lives, but it is not contributing to what could potentially be a good scientific test. Mind you the test should be done elsewhere a long way away from populous areas.
 
Tikaani Wolf
October 31st 2008
I have lived in areas where crocodiles will regularly attack and attempt to take children from beaches.....keep them in protected areas and out of our cities and towns.
 
ms no name
October 31st 2008
Dylan,
The company that makes the transmitters sets it to every 5 days for recieiving data. The EPA don't.
 
Conny Dassen/The Netherlands
October 31st 2008
Wauw, great reporting. I have been reading these croc stories every day from behind my desk in cold and rainy Holland. I hope the croc finds some peace, so the residence of MI will also and everything will be normal again when we visit your beautiful island in December.


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