Crocodile ResearchCape York, Australia
Boss crocodiles in the Wenlock river
The Best-Kept Secrets
Crocodilians are the ultimate survival species. They've outlived the dinosaurs and thrive through some of the harshest conditions imaginable, yet so little is known about them.
Steve was still a kid when he fell in love with crocodiles. Later in life, he spent much of his time relocating them from populated areas. His mission was to teach others to adore and respect these reptiles, just as much as he did. This is how the world’s largest and most successful crocodile research project began.
Steve’s curiosity led him to join forces with the University of Queensland. Together, they wanted to know more about the movements and behaviours of this secretive reptile. To do this, they had to catch wild crocs. Steve was the man for the job. The capture and release techniques he developed were second to none, and are still used today by his team and researchers worldwide.
Continuing Steve’s Dream
Today, Steve’s family, Terri, Bindi and Robert Irwin continue his work. Every year, joined with Australia Zoo’s experienced reptile team, they embark on a one-month research trip deep into croc territory. It’s here, at the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve, they tag and track the abundance of crocodiles in the Wenlock River.
Tag and Release
Using satellite-tracking and transmitters, the team keep tabs on wild crocs to learn about their habits, homing abilities and private lives. By taking measurements and samples, they are able to create a profile for each individual croc. The endless amounts of data beamed to the laboratory in Brisbane help researchers better understand the important role these reptiles play in the ecosystem.
Now, having collected more data on the movements, dives and body temperatures of crocodiles than any other study, this research project is continuously breaking new ground. With such valuable knowledge, it is hoped that one day Steve’s mission will be fulfilled.