The Trial Intensive Management Area for Crocodiles: A Crocodile Removal Zone in Queensland, Australia
The Estuarine Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) is the world's largest living crocodile, and in Queensland it inhabits tropical coastal wetlands and waterways. From 1990 to 2001, there have been nine substantiated crocodile attacks on people in Queensland, resulting in one death and eight serious injuries. Several crocodile attacks occurred in the Cairns area during these years, and Cairns's popular swimming beaches have been closed on a number of occasions because of crocodiles. Human safety from crocodile attack is an issue of great public and political concern in Queensland. From May 1998 to June 2001, the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service operated a trial crocodile removal program in the Cairns area, with a removal zone that extended 70 km along the coast. The program was named the Trial Intensive Management Area for Crocodiles (TIMAC), and its primary purpose was to protect the Cairns's popular swimming beaches from crocodiles. The program was expanded to provide a problem crocodile response service throughout north Queensland and to train additional rangers in crocodile management skills. During the three years of the TIMAC program, 80 crocodiles were captured in north Queensland: 46 crocodiles from within the removal zone, and 34 from outside the removal zone. There were no crocodile attacks in the removal zone during the three-year trial program. At the request of local governments, the program became permanent in July 2001. In effect, Cairns is the only tropical city whose popular swimming beaches are protected by a combination of a lifeguard service, a shark control program, netted enclosures (seasonal) for protection from dangerous Box Jellyfish (Chironex fleckeri), and a crocodile removal program.
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Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Northern Regional Centre, Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Publication date: 01 July 2004