Mission Beach Crocodiles
Be Croc wise in Crocodile country!
A big part of the attraction of Mission Beach and tropical north Queensland is its indigenous inhabitants that are rare and endangered but very ferocious. This is how they survived through the ages!
Tourists come from all over the world to not only see the amazing Great Barrier Reef and what is left of the World Heritage Rainforest and its inhabitants, they come to see the feisty critters that have successfully morphed into the 21st century still retaining their pre-historical looks and nomadic boundaries in amongst growing suburbia.
Australia is fortunate to be home to two species of crocodile, the freshwater crocodile, (Crocodylus johnstoni) found absolutely nowhere else in the world, and the vulnerable estuarine crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) thus bringing in scientists from the world over and tourists from the world over to see these creatures of the past centuries.
Crocodile habitats are well marked in Mission Beach with signs in varying languages alerting the visitor to the region of the potential presence of crocodiles. Pease do not ignore these warnings in the rivers as this is the ancestral home of the crocodile.
Please respect these creatures as they are like other native animals of Australia and crocodiles are part of the natural and cultural heritage of northern and central Australia.
Saltwater Crocodiles are more often sighted during the love months of September to November when they get out and about looking for partners to pro create with. Look out as both males and females are very aggressive during the breeding season or October to April.
After mating, the female lay eggs in a mound that they guard with their lives thru ought the incubation period. Once the hatchlings are out of the eggs they form a créche and the mother protects them for around four to five weeks and then they are on their own in the big wide world.
Be careful to not approach a lonely little baby crocodile as no doubt mummy is lurking in the murky waters keeping an eye on her offspring and is ready to spring at any potential threat to make a nice meal out of it.
Crocodiles are opportunistic feeders that feed on a variety of prey on the waters edge. Adult crocodiles can capture and eat large animals such as kangaroos, pigs, and livestock. Their jaws have immense crushing power.
Australia is one of the only places in the world where estuarine crocs have a good chance of survival in the wild and the only country in the world where the freshwater crocodile still exists. If you see one please stay well away as they are quite agile and fast and they are an important part of the food chain and help keep our waterways healthy and stable.
Please advise the local Mission Beach Council of the siting so they may investigate and record the crocodile's movements and place signage up top warn other potential passer by's of the animal's presence.
Traditionally Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have a special relationship with crocodiles. They are the focus of stories, songs, dances, and of course art. Some Aboriginal groups regard crocodiles as religious icons or totems while others believe they are ancestors as well as a food source for some traditional groups who take eggs from nests and hunt the adults.
Commercially crocodiles are now an important resource for farmed crocodile meat and their skin is recognized as durable leather that is made into a variety of products.
Crocodiles are an integral part of the tourism industry in Mission Beach and northern Queensland.
Until 1974 salties or estuarine crocodiles in Mission Beach, Queensland and the Northern Territory were hunted to the brink of extinction for their prized skins. It is estimated that less than one per cent of eggs survive to adulthood due to overheating, flooding, goannas, and feral pigs claiming a high proportion of unhatched embryos (an estimated 70-80 %) from the small numbers that do hatch.
From the small numbers that do hatch more than half die in the first year mainly from predetation by birds of prey, large fish, turtles and other crocodiles. Once they reach maturity their only enemies are humans and each other for territorial rights and mating rights.
Mission Beach crocodiles face the exact same situation as the rare and endangered Southern Cassowary which is found in Mission Beach. Urban sprawl is encroaching on their generational life long in bred habitats and they need to be protected.
Throughout Mission Beach yellow warning signs are placed at access points to rivers, creeks, lagoons, swamps, billabongs and beaches where estuarine crocodiles might live.
Always take care when holidaying in a new destination such as Mission Beach and make sure you observe all the local warning signs and take the time to visit the information centre for tours, sightseeing and activities to do whilst on holiday in beautiful Mission Beach Australia.