Saltwater Crocodiles Habitat
Where do Australian Crocodiles live?
The name Saltwater Crocodile would lead you to believe the saltwater crocodile lives in salt water. This is not entirely true. Saltwater Crocodiles have been found regularly in fresh water.
In northern Australia we have what is known as the wet season each year. During our summer months flooding of rivers allows saltwater crocodiles to move into areas much further inland and the receding flood waters traps them there.
Saltwater Crocodiles have been found in dams and waterways hundred of kilometers from saltwater.
As a rule Saltwater crocodiles live in estuaries where there is a good supply of crabs and fish and the occasional larger animal to eat.
Saltwater crocodiles will live and reproduce along rivers, creeks, billabongs and dams in northern Australia.
People should never simply assume an area near water anywhere in northern Australia isn’t a habitat for a saltwater crocodile. They are known to travel over land and have been seen crossing highways and train tracks. Some baby saltwater crocodiles were even found in the car park of a supermarket at Palmerston south of Darwin in the Northern Territory.
Storm water drains have also been found to contain a saltwater crocodile on more than one occasion.
In northern Australia you should assume that any waterway might contain saltwater crocodiles. Creeks and swimming holes in hills and mountains at an elevated height are considered safe for swimming.
Beaches and some offshore islands are known habitats also.
The Saltwater Crocodile has been protected by law for around 30 years now and a successful breeding program has seen their number rise again to a stage where they are no longer a threatened species.
There are unconfirmed reports of crocodiles being sighted as far south as Hervey Bay and Brisbane in Queensland. While crocodiles were known and confirmed to have been in the Mary River near Hervey Bay at the turn of the century they have not been seen there or caught in recent times.
As they have lived there in the past it is safe to assume they can do so again as their numbers increase.
In Australia the official statements say the Saltwater Crocodile ranges from Broome in Western Australia across the top end of the Northern Territory and Queensland and as far south as Rockhampton in Queensland however there are verified sightings as far south as Gladstone with unconfirmed sightings as far south as Brisbane.
You should never assume that because you are only in or near fresh water that a saltwater crocodile cannot be living there. They are known to live in fresh or brackish water, it is common for them to do so.
Saltwater Crocodiles have also been sighted regularly on offshore islands many miles out to sea. They are known to turn up at sea turtle hatcheries on remote islands when the turtles are hatching.