Every year on June 17th, World Croc Day highlights the plight of endangered crocodiles.

Saving the saltwater crocodile from extinction is one of Australia’s greatest conservation success stories. Today, they remain a vulnerable protected species, but these iconic animals are increasingly being killed after interactions with people deliberately entering croc habitat to make online content.

Last month, EDO and our client Bob Irwin met with the Queensland Environment Minister to talk about our proposed changes to the law that would deter people from behaving recklessly in crocodile habitat, to better protect people and our saltwater crocs.    

We were joined by Bob Irwin’s CROC team – including Chomper, the baby crocodile. Kathleen Walker, a Traditional Owner from Wujal Wujal Country, did a Welcome to Country and talked about the importance of crocodiles as a totem animal.  

Watch the video to learn more.

The Minister agreed with our perspectives on a range of issues, including the vital role that crocodiles play in their ecosystems, the importance of keeping them in their habitat and the cultural and spiritual significance of crocodiles to Traditional Owners.   

Indigenous rangers are best placed to both educate people on Crocwise behaviour on Country and to enforce the law. One of our recommendations is that Indigenous rangers be empowered to issue fines for reckless behaviour by giving them conservation officer status. We were pleased to learn this approach is successfully being trialed with the Jabalbina Rangers in Mossman.  

Traditional Owner Kathleen Walker, from Wujal Wujal Country, and her sister Frances.

The Bilngkumu (crocodile) is the spirit of our ancestors. We support the EDO’s recommendations in the name of creating greater protection for our totem animal, the saltwater crocodile, when human error is involved

Kathleen Walker

Communities and crocodiles can peacefully co-exist when people do the right thing. We want our laws to encourage everyone to be Crocwise, to make informed choices and behave safely in crocodile habitat, so that we can all continue to enjoy our waterways in beautiful north Queensland.