Douglas Shire residents have an opportunity to learn all about crocodile management issues in the region at a community information session next week.
Mayor Julia Leu said Council invited experts from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection to deliver the community information session as part of a broader campaign to educate the community about being Croc-Wise and seek a public viewpoint as to the long-term management of crocodiles in the Douglas Shire.
“Crocodiles are an important feature of our natural environment and a significant tourist attraction in the Douglas Shire,” Mayor Leu said.
“The aim of this community information session is to educate the public about the facts of crocodile behaviour and crocodile management in the Douglas Shire so people can be properly informed before they form an opinion on what approach we should take to crocodile management issues.
“After collating the community’s viewpoint, Council will seek a meeting with the Queensland Minister for the Environment and Heritage Protection Andrew Powell to discuss the long-term strategy of crocodile management issues in the Douglas Shire.”
Department of Environment and Heritage Protection Senior Ranger with the Wildlife Management Unit Northern Region Matthew Brien will conduct the crocodile management community information session in collaboration with Douglas Shire Council.
Mr Brien is completing a PhD in crocodile behaviour and will cover subjects at the community information session including crocodile management plans, zoning and how zones work, crocodile behaviour, human behaviour, problem crocodile behaviour in Douglas, information on crocodiles in Douglas, reporting crocodile behaviour and crocodile education.
“We live in croc country and it is important for people to be Croc-Wise regardless of what zone they live in and how crocodiles are managed in their area,” Mr Brien said.
“Adult crocodiles are territorial and it is very important we don’t provide any food source near the water’s edge as they are opportunistic and while their normal behaviour is to avoid people, if food is involved then they search for it and this can encourage problem behaviour.
“The community information session is a good opportunity for people to learn about who we are at the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, what our role is, what mechanisms are in place to report problem crocodiles, what the process is, how the zoning works and be made aware of the risks associated with living in croc country.”
The community information session will be held at the Port Douglas Community Hall, on the corner of Mudlo and Mowbray Streets, on Wednesday 20 August between 4pm-6pm and everyone is invited.
To learn more about how to be “Croc-Wise” click HERE.
For “CrocWatch” information on reporting crocodile sightings or to see a summary of crocodile reports across Queensland click HERE.
The Douglas Shire is classified as Zone 3 under the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection’s Cairns Crocodile Management Plan. To see the full details of the Cairns Crocodile Management Plan click HERE.
For general information on crocodiles click HERE.