Northern Territory Government

Risk management

The NT Government uses a risk-based strategic management approach to determine the level of management activity suitable for any given area. 

This approach is based on an assessment of:

  • Frequency -How often crocodiles are found in the area.
  • Proximity - How close an area is to known crocodile breeding areas.
  • Population - The number and frequency of people living or recreating in an area.
  • Probability - The likelihood or chance of a human-crocodile interaction occurring.
  • Practicality - The accessibility of an area, the risk to staff and the likelihood of a human entering the area.


Areas are managed for either:

  • Exclusion - the objective is to try to prevent crocodiles from entering an area so that the level of risk is low enough to recommend swimming eg. Wangi Falls in Litchfield National Park
  • No tolerance - the objective is to significantly reduce the risk of attack by removing any crocodiles that enter the area eg. Darwin Harbour and outer Darwin residential areas, or
  • Problem crocodiles removed - the objective is to only remove problem crocodiles eg. Fogg Dam Conservation Area.
Management Aim Exclusion No tolerance Problem crocodiles removed
Crocodile presence yes Low but possible Varied but assume high
Managed to minimize entry yes no no
Any crocodile removed yes yes no
Problem crocodiles removed yes yes yes
Open-closed capacity yes no no
Signs yes some some
Public informed when crocodiles are seen yes yes Problem crocodiles only
Awareness campaign yes yes yes

Different levels of management allow different recommendations to be made about the risk of water-based activities. Swimming is only recommended in exclusion areas that are sign-posted safe for swimming. If a waterway is not designated safe for swimming then it may be inhabited by crocodiles.

Management Aim Exclusion No tolerance Problem crocodiles removed
Crocodile presence Extremely unlikely when open for swimming Low but possible Varied but assume high
Crocodile awareness behavior requiredvery low levelyes yes
Swimming yes Patrolled areas only no
Entering the water yes with care with extreme caution
Other water-based activities yes with carewith extreme caution
Water edge activities yeswith care with extreme caution