Posted by: Loren Coleman on January 21st, 2010
are coming in of an out-of-place saltwater crocodile in Queensland, Australia. The above photo was taken, but officials are saying they are not so sure it is a croc. Humm.
Senior director of the Department of Environment and Resource Management, Clive Cook, is reported as saying that it is “highly improbable” to find a crocodile as far south as Queensland’s Gold Coast.
The last confirmed sighting of a crocodile anywhere near the Gold Coast was in the Logan River in 1903 or 1905 when a three metre was shot, but we’ve never had a confirmed sighting since then.
We’ve had recent sighting reports, but each one of those have been followed up and never been substantiated as a confirmed sighting.
I’ve had a look at the photograph and I’ve had extensive experience in crocodile management.
When you look closely at the photograph it clearly is not a crocodile – I would be 99 per cent sure. ~ Director Clive Cook
A number of locals have reported seeing a large turtle or dugong in the same area this week, which at a distance bore a similarity to the shape in the photograph. Tourists spotted what they believed to be a saltwater crocodile hunting ducks in the Hope Island canal on Sunday.
Cook said the crocodile’s natural range was north of Gladstone. Crocodiles are generally accepted not to live much further south than the Boyne River near Gladstone, although last year there were sightings at Hervey Bay and Fraser Island. The Fraser Island sighting last year prompted authorities to erect a warning sign and spend tens of thousands of dollars in an unsuccessful bid to trap the 4m creature.
In conjunction with this new report, there is a good, new map of recent sightings (link below, list of incidents from the map):
Crocodile sightings in Queensland, Australia. Data based on EPA’s Croc Watch list, newspaper reports and historical records.
14 February 2009 2m crocodile sighted; then EPA investigated the sighting an erected a Recent Crocodile Sighting sign.
12 February 2009 Burrum River near Torbanlea 1.5–2m crocodile sighted near Burrum Bridge. EPA staff investigating.
12 February 2009 2–2.5m crocodile sighted off beach. EPA erected recent sighting signs and carried out a night-time boat survey.
February 11, 2009: Mary River, Lamington Bridge, Maryborough. Sighting of apparent head and shoulders of a crocodile in debris in Mary River moving slower than current. EPA could not confirm sighting.
February 11, 2009: Tarcoola Drive boat ramp, Boyne River, Boyne Island. Croc head about 0.8–1m long sighted upstream from boat ramp. Permanent crocodile warning sign in place.
3.3m croc shot in Mary River near Tiaro in 1964.
1905: Large crocodile shot in Logan River. [This is the historically most southernly confirmed crocodile sighting, as this was a large crocodile shot in the Logan River, between Brisbane and the Gold Coast in 1905.]
Forest Ck, Daintree R.
Fatal crocodile attack on five-year-old child.
February 6, 2009: 2.5m croc seen near boat ramp.
Feb 4, 2009: Two crocs, one 4.5m long, seen removing fish from a net at high tide.
February 3, 2009: 2m crocodile sighted.
November 10, 2008: 1.8m crocodile sighted in creek near beach. Sighting originally made in March last year. Unconfirmed.
November 12, 2008: 3m crocodile sighted in Mary River near Queens Park. Unconfirmed.
December 2, 2008: Crocodile sighted on small island in Kauri Creek. Unconfirmed.
November 17, 2008: Crocodile-like object (possibly dugong) sighted. Unconfirmed.
Baffle Creek QLD
October 2008: Sighting of 2.5m crocodile investigated by EPA. No sign of creature.
February 19, 2009: Freshwater crocodile (someone’s abandoned pet?) found.
February 19, 2009: Half-metre freshwater croc found. (Someone’s abandoned pet?)
July 2008: Crabbers shocked to see crocodile nearby.
September 2008: Fisherman Stan Pappin sights crocodiles in Maaroom Creek.
February 18 & 19: 4m crocodile reported circling boat near Stewart Island in the Sandy Straits (between Herevy Bay and Fraser Island)
April 14, 2009: Crocodile sighted at Kin Kin after flooding in the area. EPA investigating.
March 29, 2009: 3m crocodile seen swimming about 35m from the beach. EPA erects recent sighting sign and monitors area daily but no further sightings. EPA said: “May have been a dugong as one was seen…
September 2003: Nine reported sightings of 2m crocodile in Noosa River. EPA (then known as National Parks and Wildlife) could not find any crocodile.
Hope Island QLD
January 2010: Tourist reports seeing crocodile
Thanks to Chris Rehberg.