Expert Committee endorses Queensland’s crocodile management program

29 July 2022

Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef and Minister for Science and Youth Affairs

The Honourable Meaghan Scanlon


An independent, expert review of the Queensland Crocodile Management Program has found it is world class, and highly effective in reducing the risks to public safety while conserving populations in the wild.


The Crocodile Management Independent Expert Evaluation Committee – chaired by Queensland’s Chief Scientist, Professor Hugh Possingham – made 22 recommendations for improving estuarine crocodile management in Queensland.


The committee evaluated all aspects of the Department of Environment and Science’s crocodile management program, including:


-              The Department’s response to estuarine crocodile sighting reports


-              The removal of problem crocodiles


-              Delivery of its Be Crocwise community education program


-              Scientific monitoring and crocodile research


The department has accepted each of the committee’s recommendations, with several recommendations already being implemented.


Professor Possingham said the committee was very impressed with the professionalism and dedication of departmental staff involved in implementing the Queensland Crocodile Management Plan.


“The committee also found that the department’s approach to crocodile management is pragmatic, robust and fit for purpose,” Professor Possingham said.


“Overall, the committee's report confirms the Queensland Government has the balance right.”


The review comes after key findings from the monitoring program were released by the Department of Environment and Science last year and the full technical report released today.


While Queensland’s crocodile population has recovered from near extinction in the 1970s when commercial hunting was banned, their overall distribution has not significantly changed, and there’s no evidence the population has expanded southwards.


Very few river systems in Queensland approach the density seen in the Northern Territory, and around only 20 per cent of crocodiles are located along the coast between Cooktown and Rockhampton.


The committee’s report said the department should be proud of the way the 2016-2019 crocodile monitoring program was conducted and described Estuarine Crocodile Population Monitoring in Queensland (1979-2019) Technical Report, based on that monitoring program, as excellent.


It also noted that these achievements, along with the department’s innovative and practical scientific research program, were world-class.


Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said the Queensland Government will continue to strengthen the world-class crocodile management program.


“Our number one priority is human life,” the Minister said.


“Since 2015, the Queensland Government has allocated $20 million to manage our estuarine crocodile population, in accordance with this priority.


“Funding of $3 million per year is now ongoing, for 18 frontline regional officers to manage problem crocodiles, deliver community safety education and for ongoing scientific research and monitoring.  


“My department has also allocated additional funding of over $300,000 per year for two years for additional scientific research, crocodile population modelling and community engagement research.


“The department has recently appointed and funded two new regional positions dedicated to implementing the Be Crocwise community safety education program across “croc country”.


“I’d like to thank Professor Possingham and all members of the voluntary expert committee for their detailed evaluation.


“I look forward to the department’s ongoing work with stakeholders, technical experts and community members in responding to their recommendations.”


The Committee’s report and Government response is available on the Department’s website –




Media contact: Francis Dela Cruz - 0420 592 078