Central Queensland IS croc country – and they’re on the move

Issued: 14 Sep 2023

The crocodile is estimated to be around 4m long.

The crocodile is estimated to be around 4m long.

The crocodile left its imprint on Capricorn Coast beaches.

The crocodile left its imprint on Capricorn Coast beaches.

A large crocodile slips almost silently into the water and does not reappear near Byfield National Park. Another crocodile leaves its imprint on multiple beaches along the Capricornia Coast.

Senior Wildlife Officer Joshua Morris said the greater Rockhampton region, including the Capricorn Coast, is crocodile country, and the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) would like to thank diligent residents in the region for making recent reports.

“Wildlife officers have investigated each report, and people should be aware that as the weather warms up, there will likely be an increase in crocodile activity as male crocodiles will be on the move to find a mate or find new territory,” Mr Morris said.

“On Wednesday 6 September 2023, we received a report about a large crocodile basking on the bank of Water Park Creek near Byfield National Park.

“During our vessel-based investigation, wildlife officers observed a large crocodile basking on the bank.

“Upon seeing us, the crocodile did not display any dangerous behaviour. It slid into the water and did not reappear.

“At the weekend, we received six sighting reports about a crocodile moving along the Capricorn Coast between Zilzie and Kinka Beach.

“We believe the reports relate to the same animal, and a member of the public was able to measure one of the imprints it left on the sand at the northern end of Tanby Beach on Sunday morning at approximately 2.4m long.

“The crocodile would’ve been taking a rest before returning to the water and we believe it is moving between river or creek systems.”

Mr Morris said wildlife officers inspected several beaches over the weekend and on Monday where the crocodile was reported but did not confirm the presence of the animal.

“We have not had another report about this crocodile since Sunday morning, and we’re asking people along the Capricorn Coast to make Crocwise choices near the water,” he said.

“Crocodiles are highly mobile and can move long distances but the animal could still be transitioning along the Capricorn Coast.

“We have provided Crocwise information to the public along the coast. Local Surf Life Saving Queensland clubs have also been made aware of the sighting and are supporting DES by monitoring beaches and posting warning to beach goers.

“If anyone sees the animal, please report it to the department.”

All crocodiles displaying dangerous behaviour are targeted for removal under the Queensland Crocodile Management Plan.

Members of the public are encouraged to report crocodile sightings as soon as possible through the QWildlife app, via the DES website or by calling 1300 130 372. DES investigates all reports it receives.

People are responsible for their own safety in Croc country and are reminded to make Crocwise choices at all times. In particular:

  • Expect crocodiles in Central Queensland waterways even if there is no warning sign.
  • Stand back from the water’s edge when in crocodile habitat, or keep an object between yourself and the water at all times.
  • Never leave food, fish scraps or bait near the water, at camp sites or boat ramps.
  • Do not provoke, harass or feed crocodiles, regardless of size.
  • Report crocodile sightings through the QWildlife mobile app or by calling 1300 130 372.
  • Be aware that crocodiles can also be found in the ocean and freshwater habitats.
  • Be extra cautious at dawn, dusk and at night.
  • Avoid using canoes and kayaks in croc country - the smaller the vessel the greater the risk.
  • Stay well away from crocodile traps.
  • Camp at least 50 metres from the edge of the water.
  • Always supervise children near the water and keep pets on a lead.
  • Obey all warning signs.

View photos of crocodiles on the move in the media centre.