COVID-19 information for national park sites and campgrounds

Covid Camping Open

News and media statements

All Parks and Wildlife Service news items and media statements produced after mid-August 2019 are available on the new departmental website .

Crocodiles stay put in nature reserve waterhole

Close-up of one of the crocodiles in a waterhole at Parry Lagoons Nature Reserve
Close-up of one of the crocodiles in a waterhole at Parry Lagoons Nature Reserve Parks and Wildlife

The Department of Parks and Wildlife is monitoring a number of large crocodiles in a drying waterhole at Parry Lagoons Nature Reserve, 80km north-west of Kununurra.

East Kimberley operations officer Alexander Scott said water levels had subsided through the dry season to a point where both saltwater and freshwater crocodiles were living in close proximity in the waterhole.

“Crocodiles have the ability to endure hot, dry conditions, but they need to regulate their body temperature by seeking water, mud or shade to stay cool until the wet season,” Mr Scott said.

“Some of these animals may move under trees and shrubs surrounding the waterhole so for safety reasons the department recommends that people visiting the area remain well away from the banks of small waterholes.

“This situation is not uncommon and we will see an accumulation of crocodiles at a single water source more frequently in coming years due to the increasing population of crocodiles in northern waterways.”

Mr Scott said the crocodiles in the nature reserve, which vary in size from approximately 1m to more than 4m, are in a waterhole approximately 7.5km from the Ord River and are unlikely to return to the river before the wet season.

“The department is not planning to relocate these crocodiles because it would cause additional stress which could be fatal,” he said.

Crocodiles can move large distances during the wet season and may remain in small creeks and waterholes throughout the year.

Saltwater and freshwater crocodiles are protected under the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950.


They live in coastal rivers and creek systems, and often occur in open sea and around islands. Saltwater crocodiles also move inland along major rivers, floodplains, billabongs and into freshwater, rivers, creeks and swamps, which are habitats mostly associated with freshwater crocodiles.

If a crocodile is seen in areas close to towns or communities, or if there are any crocodiles displaying aggressive behaviour within the Kimberley region,please contact the Parks and Wildlife office at Kununurra (9168 4200) or Broome (9195 5500).

Media contact: Parks and Wildlife Media 9219 9999