Our landowner consultations have revealed that the native saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) is now perceived as a major threat to people being able to safely be on country and access customary resources. Saltwater crocodiles are reported by landowners and djungkay in places and numbers never before experienced in their lifetimes. The rise in the crocodile population and intrusion into new territories is occurring alongside the growing and spreading population of feral animals. However, the crocodile is an important cultural and totemic species for some clans and people, and its management must be culturally appropriate and highly consultative.

Smaller problem animals on our country are cane toads and cats, which are widely established. Cane toads are significantly impacting culturally important plant and animal species, including the northern quoll and yellow-spotted monitor and our many reptile species. Feral cats are putting small mammals and reptile and bird species under pressure.

Other easily transported animals such as ants, mussels and barnacles could also pose a serious threat if they were introduced and became established in central Arnhem Land.

Management activities

We are continuing our monthly marine surveys and identifying and removing potential problem animals and working to increase our capacity to assist landowners to manage saltwater crocodiles in culturally appropriate ways. When landscape-scale methods of control for feral cat and cane toad management exist, we are ready to act.

Our long-term goals are to build the resilience of land and sea country in the Djelk region, halting further spread of saltwater crocodiles and ensuring no new feral animal species are introduced in our land or sea country.