Crikey! How UQ crocodile researchers are helping to keep us – and them – safe

21 September 2021

Eighteen years ago, along the isolated rivers of Far North Queensland, UQ researcher Professor Craig Franklin was studying freshwater crocodiles with a colleague when they bumped into Australia’s 'Crocodile Hunter’, Steve Irwin. 

What followed was a longstanding research partnership between UQ and Australia Zoo. The partnership continues today, combining UQ’s research expertise with the croc-capturing skills of the Australia Zoo team.

Together, they’re working to better understand the mysterious lives of crocodiles.

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Each year, the teams head to the remote Wenlock River, in the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve in the Cape York Peninsula, to capture and track estuarine crocodiles ('salties').

They attach devices to follow their movements for up to 10 years. The work is providing new learnings about how crocodiles exist in and interact with their environment, helping to keep us – and them – safe.

In 2007, UQ posthumously awarded Steve Irwin an adjunct professorship, and in 2015, awarded Terri Irwin AM a Doctor of Science honoris causa to recognise their enormous contributions and leadership in wildlife research and conservation.

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