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News

A truck with a snappy response

  • Scania Australia helps crocodile researchers transport vital equipment
Every year since 2008, scientists and conservationists have been visiting the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve in Queensland, Australia, to study crocodiles.

Every year since 2008, scientists and conservationists have been visiting the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve in Queensland, Australia, to study crocodiles. The largest and most successful crocodile research project in the world engages Australia Zoo, in partnership with the University of Queensland and Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors.

Scania Australia is assisting the researchers by supplying a new generation G 500 to transport vital equipment to the 135,000-hectare wildlife reserve. The truck will transport shipping containers filled with boats and traps for use during the annual crocodile research trip.

Scania support lets zoo spend more on research
The late Steve Irwin – who achieved worldwide fame with the Crocodile Hunter TV series – began crocodile research in the 1980s, and the reserve’s capture and study techniques remain the world’s best to this day.

The Australia Zoo team captures the crocodiles, while the University of Queensland scientists carry out their research, take measurements, and attach trackers to the animals.

The truck will do a 5,500-kilometre round trip to the reserve and the money we would have used to rent a truck can now be used for further research into crocodiles and their conservation.

Terri Irwin Owner and operator of Australia Zoo
After the researchers have fitted the appropriate device, they release the crocodile back into the river system, where its activity is closely monitored.

“The truck will do a 5,500-kilometre round trip to the reserve and the money we would have used to rent a truck can now be used for further research into crocodiles and their conservation,” says Steve’s widow Terri Irwin, the owner and operator of Australia Zoo.

The secrets of crocodile behaviour
Every crocodile is fitted with an acoustic tag, which sends information to the researchers’ receivers for up to 10 years. For larger crocodiles, a GPS tracker is also fitted to help better track their movements, sending back data for around one year.

These specialised tracking devices provide valuable information about the movements and behavioural patterns of adult estuarine crocodiles. After the researchers have fitted the appropriate device, they release the crocodile back into the river system, where its activity is closely monitored.

So far the research has produced vital information on the crocodiles’ diet and on their movement patterns, including the fact that they can spend more than seven hours underwater.