Conservation of crocodiles

Freshwater crocodile conservation

The freshwater crocodile is found only in northern Australia, where it lives in rivers, lagoons and billabongs, largely upstream and away from the coast. 

Freshwater crocodiles have an important cultural value with residents and visitors.

They like sandy substrates in areas where river channels cut through escarpments and plateaus, and sands, loams and other friable substrate in freshwater wetlands. This reflects their need for soils to dig a nest-hole to bury their eggs.


The current threats to freshwater crocodile numbers are poisoning by cane toads, the effects of climate change and displacement by increasing numbers of saltwater crocodiles. 

Climate change may become a more significant threat to crocodile habitat through changes in sea levels, hydrology and saltwater intrusion.

Harvesting freshwater crocodiles

The freshwater crocodile is protected in the Northern Territory (NT). 

A small number of freshwater crocodiles are harvested each year. 

The skins of freshwater crocodiles are less valued than those of saltwater crocodiles. 

The larger scale size and osteoderms (bone deposits) in the skin of freshwater crocodiles make them harder to use commercially.

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Last updated: 21 January 2016

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