In partnership with the University of Queensland and Australia Zoo, Wildlife Warriors are making monumental strides in the field of crocodilian research and conservation. Steve Irwin began formal crocodile research in 1996 – and today, his capture and study techniques remain the most advanced in the world, used in every continent that crocodiles inhabit.
The long-term study has been conducted on the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve since 2008, shortly after the property was established in Steve's honour. "What better way to honour Steve's legacy, than to conserve the animals he loved so dearly, and in one of his favourite places on the planet," said Wildlife Warriors Founder, Dr Terri Irwin.
This world-renowned research project focuses on capturing and tagging estuarine crocodiles, lovingly known as salties, in the Wenlock River running through the protected Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve in Far North Queensland's Cape York.
This year, the research reached a milestone. On 20th August, we added a beautiful crocodile named Stevie to the research project. Stevie is the 200th crocodile to be tagged and tracked in the Wenlock River.
Stevie is 2.9 metres (9 feet 3 inches) long, and is among the largest females in the study. "These big beautiful females are vitally important to the population. Stevie is at the stage that she would be breeding and nesting, ensuring the future of saltwater crocodiles. We rarely catch female crocodiles this big, she is a special girl," said Terri Irwin.
"Reaching 200 crocodiles is a huge milestone for science and crocodile conservation, and I know Steve would be so proud," said Terri. "The research that Steve began has provided insights into the travel range of crocodiles, their ability to return to their habitat after relocation, revolutionary findings on their ability to remain submerged, their behaviour during flood events, diets and feeding habits, as well as nesting behaviours and genetic relatedness studies."