A Scania Next generation G 500 prime mover is assisting Australia Zoo and Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors to transport vital equipment from Beerwah, in South East Queensland, to the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve in Cape York, Far North Queensland. Powered by the latest Euro 6 rated 13-litre 6-cylinder engine, the up-market Scania and will pull two 20-ft containers 2500 km to the reserve.
Steve Irwin began crocodile research in the 1980s, and his techniques of capturing and studying these animals remain the world’s best to this day. Since 2008, an annual crocodile research trip has been conducted on the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve, located on the Wenlock River in Cape York.
Australia Zoo, in partnership with the University of Queensland (UQ) and Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors, now manage the largest and the most successful crocodile research project in the world, utilising Steve Irwin’s techniques.
The experienced Australia Zoo team captures the crocodiles, while the UQ scientists carry out their research, take measurements, and attach trackers to the animals.
Every crocodile gets 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 record the crocodiles’ movements, sending data for around one year.
These specialised tracking devices provide valuable information about the movements and behavioural patterns of adult estuarine crocodiles. Once the appropriate device has been fitted, the crocodile is released back into the river system where its activity is monitored eagerly.
The truck that Scania has provided to Australia Zoo is one of the original NTG evaluation vehicles, and was named ‘Trevor O’Brien’ in honour of one of Scania Australia’s longest serving employees.
“The truck will do a 5,500 km round trip to the Reserve and back and we are grateful to Scania Australia for its use. The money we would have used to rent a truck can now be used for further research into crocodiles and their conservation,” Terri Irwin said.