GPS Tracking to be Used Track Crocodiles on Australian Beaches

27 Nov 2017

Port Douglas in Northern Queensland could soon lead the world in crocodile management due to a new GPS tracking program. A collection of local businesses hope to place GPS trackers on some of the largest crocodiles in Dicksons Inlet and the surrounding area to safeguard Four Mile Beach.

The news comes after the tourist hotspot came to a standstill eyewitness reports came in of a crocodile as large as four meters swimming 20 meters from the shore during daylight hours. Kelvin Brown from Port Douglas Water Sports and Beach Hire stated that the beach is the last patrolled in the area.

Additionally, it’s where crocodiles tend to congregate. He’s hoping that the project is a success and that the rest of the world can learn from it.

Both the local police and the beach patrol hut will have the ability to precisely locate where the five biggest crocodiles are at any time of the day or night via GPS.

GPS crocodile tracking isn’t a new idea in Australia. Crocodiles have been previously tracked around the Wenlock River on the Cape York Peninsula. In fact, after its launch in 2008, the University of Queensland ‘Crocodile Tracks’ program became the longest and largest study of its kind.

Brown hopes that funding for the program will come from state and local government grants. He also believes that the beach will be safer for people who use it as the trackers will pinpoint the positions of the four biggest animals at all times. If a crocodile gets too close to the beach, staff can trap it and move it to a new location. The project safeguards both beach users and crocodiles.

Surf Life Saving Queensland plans to employ drones to help spot crocodiles in a similar manner to the way experts monitor sharks further south in the region.

Mr. Brown wants better tourist information to also be available throughout the main swimming area of the beach. He proposes that notices should carry information about the wildlife in the area as well as any negatives that relate to crocodiles. Brown believes that tourists should be able to clearly read about the many positives that relate to Four Mile Beach rather than just the potential hazards.

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