The Crocodile Islands are a group of islands belonging to the Yan-nhangu speaking Yolngu people of the Northern Territory of Australia. They are located off the coast of Arnhem Land in the Arafura Sea. The largest of the inner islands in the group is Milingimbi Island (Yurruwi), with other large islands including Mooroongga (Murrungga), Yabooma (Rapuma), Gananggaringur (Gananggananggarr) and Crocodile Island (Nilpaywa). Smaller islands include Darbada, Boojiragi (Budjirriki), Mardanaingura, Northwest Crocodile(Gurriba) and North-east Crocodile Islands (Brul-brul), and North-west Crocodile Reef (Gununba No 1). The islands were formed by stabilising sea levels 5000 years before present. They were discovered by the Dutch in the seventeenth century and named the Crocodils Eÿlandt. Several of the Crocodile Islands, with their associated mudflats, have been identified by BirdLife International as forming the Milingimbi Islands Important Bird Area (IBA) because they support large numbers of waders, or shorebirds. Murrungga Island has one of the most significant migratory bird nesting and breeding sites in the North of Australia. R Chatto pers com. The enormous fresh water lakes of Garratha, Riyanhuna and Ganbuwa are home to hundreds of species of birds, as well as a large population of Saltwater Crocodiles, after which the islands are named.
Access to the islands is restricted; before visiting, permission must be sought from the appropriate land council.
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