Author Cara Ginnan
The time has come Canberrans! Grab your binoculars and put those warm winter jackets on, it’s time to join the search for our local platypus!
The ACT Waterwatch organisation has announced the commencement of their ninth annual platypus month.
Platypus month is a program that conducts surveys on the population of platypus within the region.
“This year, the University of Canberra will be conducting some more traditional population surveys on the platypus at three of our monitoring sites. These additional surveys will offer a useful comparison point to our regular surveys and help us better interpret our results over time” ACT Attorney General, Shane Rattenbury said.
Last year’s platypus month survey was unfortunately cut short due to the 2021 COVID lockdown in the ACT, so it is a priority for Waterwatch to collect as much data as possible this year.
Canberra citizens are now being encouraged to get involved in the program as well, to volunteer and help monitor the platypuses from dusk and dawn.
“Despite the impacts from Covid-19 over the past few years, we have seen the community’s support and enthusiasm for this special month, so I encourage Canberrans to sign up to take part in these important surveys”.
Waterwatch also encourages Canberrans to report platypus sightings! If anyone happens to be down near the local waterway at any point throughout the year, they can record their sighting through Waterwatch’s ‘Platy & Ratty’ Portal.
The main locations used for platypus research include; Ginninderra Creek anywhere below Lake Ginninderra, The Gudgenby River in Namadgi National Park, and The Yass River and its tributaries.
To find out more about platypus month, head to the Waterwatch website at: https://www.act.waterwatch.org.au/programs/platypus-month.