26 September 2023

Platypus spotters called to report sightings

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As Melbourne’s platypuses seek a mate this spring, Melbourne Water is calling on the community to get involved and monitor the platypuses as they do.

Coordinator of Waterwatch at Melbourne Water, Ben Hudson said anyone could join in this month by reporting their sightings using the PlatypusSPOT app, or by taking part in the Australian Conservation Foundation’s Platy-Project.

Mr Hudson said platypuses were at their most active in Greater Melbourne from August to October as they foraged in rivers and creeks for food, and sought out a mate.

“We encourage people in the community to become citizen scientists and help us monitor platypuses,” Mr Hudson said.

“Their efforts build knowledge of local platypus populations which helps researchers better understand this fascinating animal,” he said.

“It also helps us manage our waterways to protect them in the future.”

Mr Hudson reminded platypus enthusiasts that the creatures were shy and largely nocturnal, so the best time to spot one was at dusk or dawn.

He said platypuses could be spotted in a number of rivers and creeks around Dandenong, Werribee, Maribyrnong, Westernport and the Yarra River and tributaries.

“They are egg laying, duck-billed, web-footed, venomous, bio-fluorescent creatures – features that make them unique,” Mr Hudson said.

“The platypus is currently listed in Victoria as vulnerable to extinction,” the Waterwatch Coordinator said.

Further information about Melbourne Water’s platypus program and how to become a citizen scientist can be accessed at this PS News link.

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