Northern Territory Government

Crocodile protection

Saltwater crocodiles are protected in the Northern Territory (NT).

You can't take or interfere with a crocodile without a permit.

Permits may be given to ranger groups, shires or land managers to trap or shoot problem crocodiles where there is a clear need to do so and there is no other alternative.

You can't possess or trade in live or dead crocodiles, crocodile eggs or parts of crocodiles without a permit.

The saltwater crocodile management program helps the NT use and look after these animals. 

It aims for all of the following:

  • to maintain a large and healthy population of saltwater crocodiles living in their natural habitat
  • to promote the saltwater crocodile as a natural resource that has economic use and benefit if used sustainably
  • to respect the cultural values of saltwater crocodiles
  • to manage concentrated numbers in areas where there is a high risk to people, livestock and pets
  • to provide crocodile awareness and information in parks, reserves and conservation areas
  • to work with other government groups, business and industry to make Territorians and visitors aware of crocodiles
  • encourage everyone to be responsible in activities near the natural environment of saltwater crocodiles.

Saltwater crocodile conservation

The saltwater crocodile has gone from almost being extinct in the 1970s to now being widespread in large numbers so that it is not of any conservation concern. 

Saltwater crocodiles have ecological and cultural value, but they are also a management challenge due to different opinions on their place in the wild. 

They are spiritually important to some Aboriginal communities and a Territory icon, but they are also a dangerous predator. 

Use of crocodiles is managed by the Northern Territory Government to make sure it is sustainable for the long term. 

Permits to take eggs and crocodiles

Each year up to 70,000 eggs and 1,400 live crocodiles are allowed to be taken from the wild. 

You can get a permit to take eggs and crocodiles from the wild. 

You need to provide all of the following information if you have a permit to take live eggs:

  • details of when and where egg harvesting occurred
  • make sure the number of live eggs taken is within the permitted number
  • state the crocodile farm eggs are going to
  • annual returns stating the total number and number of live and viable eggs harvested. 

This information needs to be provided on 31 July each year that the permit is valid.

Last updated: 31 May 2016