This year was the first time Djelk Rangers sent out juvenile crocodile hatchlings to Darwin. Djelk has a long history of supplying hatchlings to our commercial partners under our permit to harvest saltwater crocodile eggs. Over the past 12 months we have been piloting a grow-out system where we administer daily care and feed hatchlings over a period of 9-12 months. Djelk are then able to negotiate a competitive price with buyers. The program is not focussed on income but rather employment and capacity building of Indigenous Rangers.
Once the crocs were ready to be transported to Darwin the rangers drained the grow-out tanks, transfer crocs to ventilated tubes and loaded them onto a plane for delivery to Darwin. Djelk are working closely with Mick Burns & Craig Moore of WHNT Pty Ltd and look forward to expanding the project. We have also been successful in gaining additional funding to increase the number of grow-out tanks and to purchase a commercial grade incubator. This also positions Djelk to supply better products to other existing partners.
The program is also an important role for Djelk Women Rangers. The women’s team are responsible for the day to day care of the eggs from the day they are collected to the day they hatch. From there the women have managed the daily feeding and flushing of the croc tanks. Djelk intend to expand the program over the next year and are excited to build their capacity and develop new skills.