Saturday, January 09, 2010

Managing Freshwater Crocodiles

The NT Government has released its new Draft Management Program for the Freshwater Crocodile which you can now download, read and - if you're so inclined - comment upon (full draft / summary). For those of you overseas, this concerns the Australian Freshwater Crocodile (Crocodylus johnstoni), Australia's other crocodile that is frequently overlooked and/or ignored by the general population. However, freshies are extremely cool critters. There's some concern about changes in their population density these days, but frankly I need a whole other blog post just to talk about it. So, don't go too far...

6 comments:

Brandon said...

I've been hearing that the Cane Toad population has had a horrific impact on the "freshie" population. I sure hope something can be done to curb this from getting out of control. I'll be in Darwin in August to do some photography for a month and I hope these guys are still around.

Adam Britton said...

Hi Brandon, that's the subject of the next blog post once I've finished writing it - got distracted by a storm here. Freshies are certainly still around and aren't going anywhere. Drop me a line if you're landing in Darwin, we'll show you some wild freshies.

dlal said...

There is also an article published on ABC News about the freshies.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/01/09/2788726.htm

Poor guys, they're having a tough time out there in the wild. Let's hope things will look out for them in the future. I think the freshies really are a special link in crocodilian evolution in Australia. If we loose them, we may have lost something historically important of how crocodiles ended up in Australia. I'm just guessing, but I think back in the day when the early Africans who left africa and settled in the Asia/pacific region, areas such as PNG. They may have taken with them on their voyage animals, fruits, food etc. And they may have taken with them the Nile crocodile. And over the years, the Nile crocodile may have evolved into the Saltwater crocodile. Thus making PNG the hub of all the salties which they then spread all over south east asia and northern Australia. And also maybe during that evolutionary process some of the Nile crocs evolved into the New Guinea crocodile, which looks similar to our freshies in Australia. And who knows.. maybe the New Guinea crocodile made it to Australia and evolved into the freshies that are here today. I'm just guessing about this all, but imagine if that was the case! Are there any captive New Guinea crocodiles at Crocodylus Park Adam? The only place I've seen them in captivity is at George Craigs place on Green Island.

Adam Britton said...

Hey dlal, I should get you to write my blog posts! ;) That's the story about I'm about to blog about next, and freshie evolution is mentioned. Actually, the current theory is that freshies evolved from salties themselves, hence the irony. Although that's not the main reason for the post, as you'll see.

I don't know whether Crocodylus Park has any New Guinea crocs on display, but I somewhat doubt it. I've no desire to visit that place anymore to find out.

Brandon said...

That's good to know. I read somewhere that the American Crocodile, which lives naturally with the Cane Toad, is very closely related to the Saltwater Crocodile and perhaps that's why the Saltie is less the susceptible to the toxin? Don't remember where I read that. That sounds great Adam, I'll be landing Darwin on August 4th and leaving on August 20th. I pretty much am dedicating my entire time to photographing crocodiles. I've been to the Top End twice before but this time I'm coming with professional equipment and better knowledge. My initial plan was to camp near Corroboree Billabong (well away from the water, of course) for a week and attempt to get shots on the river bank, as I'm trying to get some unique, eye-level shots (I have a long lens)...but it sounds like you've got some much better ideas. How can I get in contact with you there?

dlal said...

Haha thanks Adam! Can't wait to read your blog on the freshies. Brandon, wow that's a awesome trip you got planned! Have fun and take plenty of cool pics when you're in Darwin! And hopefully you post some pics online for us to view :) Hope you get some great shots of those huge 5 metre plus salties at Corroboree Billabong.