Queensland Crocodile Management Plan consultation

The Queensland Government is undertaking consultation on a revised draft of the Queensland Crocodile Management Plan (draft plan), which provides the framework for managing estuarine (saltwater) crocodiles in Queensland.

The draft plan aims to balance the highest possible levels of public safety with the conservation of crocodile populations in areas of crocodile habitat (Croc Country).

The draft plan includes important local changes that:

  • provide a consistent approach to crocodile management for Queensland
  • ensure an evidence-based approach to conserving estuarine crocodiles while increasing public safety
  • define the crocodile management zones and explain how the Queensland Government manages crocodiles in each zone
  • outline the risks posed by crocodiles in Queensland.

The draft plan uses a 'response-based management approach', which involves taking appropriate action based on the crocodile management zone where the animal has been identified.

The need for a review of the plan

In 2021, an independent expert committee made a number of recommendations designed to further strengthen and improve the plan.

This revised draft plan has been developed in response to those recommendations and to help increase community understanding about crocodile management.

Review of the plan has been informed by evidence-based science including the findings of key monitoring and research work undertaken by the Queensland Government and external experts.

Read more about two key research initiatives finalised in response to the expert committee’s recommendations—Genetics research and an Estuarine crocodile population modelling study.


The revised draft of the Queensland Crocodile Management Plan (PDF, 3.6MB) is now open for consultation.

What is proposed to change

The revised draft plan includes:

  • updates to the existing crocodile management zones including:
    • consolidation of the number of zones from six to four
      (note: there are no major changes to the current locations/boundaries of the existing zones)
    • changes to the names of the zones
    • changes to some existing zone areas (either by zone type and/or boundary).
      Copies of the zone maps are listed below.
  • clearer information about the risks and management responses for each zone to help improve the community’s understanding about crocodile management in their area
  • clearer information outlining how 'problem crocodiles' are identified, targeted for removal and what happens to those that have been removed
  • the introduction of an annual feedback process for the plan, including the opportunity for members of the public to request changes to the crocodile management zones
  • information about trials to proactively change crocodile behaviour using conditioning techniques (such as hazing) to increase wariness and drive them away from high-use recreation areas.

For further information read the Summary of key changes (PDF, 3.1MB) .

What isn’t proposed to change

  • Crocodiles that pose a threat to human safety will continue to be targeted for removal in line with the requirements of the different management zones.
  • Based on scientific research and modelling, no change is proposed to the current ‘response based-based approach to crocodile management.
    This means there would be no targeted increase in the number of larger crocodiles (2.4 metres or more in length) removed from along the populated east coast of Queensland each year.

This decision has been informed by the Modelling population dynamics of estuarine crocodiles on Queensland’s northern populated east coast (NPEC) report (PDF, 4.8MB) . Read the summary and key findings (PDF, 2.1MB) .

Crocodile management zone maps

The draft crocodile management zones are shown on the following crocodile management zone maps:

Research initiatives

In response to the expert committee’s recommendations, the revised draft plan has been informed by two key research initiatives.

Estuarine crocodile population modelling

Building on the department’s long-term monitoring program and in response to the expert committee’s recommendation to consider removing additional crocodiles more than 2.4 metres in length, the department commissioned research in 2021 to create and evaluate estuarine crocodile population models for the northern populated east coast (NPEC) of Queensland—those areas between Cooktown and Ingham.

The Modelling population dynamics of estuarine crocodiles on Queensland’s northern populated east coast report (PDF, 4.8MB) assessed how removing different numbers and ages of crocodiles would impact on the total number of crocodiles in the NPEC area.

The population modelling study found that:

  • even small increases in the numbers of adult crocodiles removed have the potential for detrimental impacts on crocodile populations in the long-term
  • the NPEC crocodile population is not at risk of extinction in the foreseeable future unless there is a significant change in crocodile management practices.
  • continuing the current rate of removal is likely to be a safe strategy from a species conservation standpoint and as an effective public safety management strategy.

Read the summary and key findings (PDF, 2.1MB) .

Genetics research study

  • The Genetic structure and connectivity of the estuarine crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) in Queensland 2018–2020 study is based on over two decades of movement studies.
  • Previously, it was believed that estuarine crocodiles could move everywhere and anywhere throughout their range.
  • The results of this genetics study have redefined what is known about estuarine crocodiles in Queensland and the species more generally.
  • It provides an understanding about where crocodiles in Queensland are from (source), where they go (sink), and how far they travel.
  • The study found that:
    • The estuarine crocodile population within Queensland can be described as six sub-populations.
    • Most crocodiles remain close to their place of birth with 90% of crocodiles dispersing less than 50km, leading to localised populations.
    • There is evidence of historical and recent movement of crocodiles between adjacent sub-populations with connectivity declining with distance.

Read the summary and key findings (PDF, 2.6MB) .

Have your say

Specifically, the consultation is seeking feedback on the following how clearly the revised draft plan explains:

  • overall goals and objectives
  • new crocodile management zone names and maps
  • how crocodiles are managed in each zone
  • process for removing crocodiles and what happens to them
  • annual review process for crocodile management zones.

How to provide feedback

You can either:

1. Complete the online survey


2. Lodge a written submission:




Queensland Crocodile Management Plan consultation
Department of Environment and Science
GPO Box 2454
Brisbane Qld 4001

Consultation closes Wednesday 5 June 2024 at 11.59pm.

Queensland Crocodile Management Plan consultation now open

Submissions close Wednesday 5 June 2024 at 11.59pm.