SYDNEY: Australian researchers on Tuesday launched the world’s first crocodile attack database, hoping to establish whether conservation of the reptiles had “come back to bite itself”. CrocBITE, a new global database of human-crocodile interactions, will be managed by researchers at Australia’s Charles Darwin University (CDU), aiming to explore whether protection had increased attacks.

Since laws were passed in Australia’s tropical Northern Territory in 1971 protecting crocodiles, CDU researcher Adam Britton said species numbers had boomed, leading to greater interactions with humans, with “similar stories from around the world”. “Crocodile conservation has come back to bite itself,” said Britton.

“Human-crocodile conflict is increasing each year as crocodile populations recover from decades of overhunting, and human populations continue to grow and encroach upon crocodile habitat.”–AFP